Jan 18 2019
Typically, the albums that make this site’s Best Of list top ten are those that have made a statement. That statement could come in any form… a social or political commentary, a picture of what jazz can become or the bounty that jazz past can yet provide, a personal artistic plateau achieved or a state of perfection on an existing vein of exploration… anything, really, where the significance of the recording rivals what makes it special. But without fail, there’s always an album that scores a top ten ranking that is there just because of what it is… beautiful music crafted with exquisite taste and expertise. Myra Melford’s The Other Side of Air is 2018’s iteration. Alongside cornetist Ron Miles, guitarist Liberty Ellman, drummer Tyshawn Sorey and bassist Stomu Takeishi, the Bay-area pianist has created something that exists as a snapshot, of timeless music captured in one brief moment of the music continuum she and her collaborators have, and will continue to create over the course of their lives. This music represents itself- its beautiful melodies and its jagged edges, its warped shapes and vivid imagery- and that’s all the statement that needed be made. This album is what it’s all about.
Released on Firehouse 12 Records.
Music from Berkeley, CA.
I wrote about the album for The Bandcamp Daily.