Feb 14 2020
With 2016’s Otis Was A Polar Bear, Allison Miller opened a new door. The drummer’s career to that point was not constricted to just one sound, or solely one territory. A machine-gun style of post-bop or a conversant chatter of pop music accompaniment or a straight-ahead swing were all part of her repertoire, and the combination of versatility and individualism distinguished Miller as one of the top drummers on the scene. But her 2016 recording, inspired by and dedicated to her new child, was something truly brand new… and unexpected. Eliciting the imagery of a childhood fairy tale and powered by a potent dose of surreal melodicism, that recording was a series of magical pieces, all standalone gems in their own right, but made even more electrified when absorbed in its totality as a narrative-driven story. Arguably, it could’ve been named the 2016 album of the year. 2019’s Glitter Wolf builds on that foundation, and the story just keeps growing more fantastic with each new piece. And, arguably, it could easily be considered for the top spot in 2019.
Your album personnel: Allison Miller (drums), Jenny Scheinman (violin), Kirk Knuffke (cornet), Ben Goldberg (clarinet), Todd Sickafoose (bass), and Myra Melford (piano).
Released on Royal Potato Family.
Music from New York City.
I wrote about the album for The Bandcamp Daily.