UC Berkeley Music Professor and world-renowned jazz pianist Myra Melford will mark the release of two albums and career retrospective Blu-ray disc in November on Firehouse 12 Records. Melford – whom the New Yorker called “a stalwart of the new-jazz movement” – will support the releases with a world tour that boasts stops across the U.S. and Europe.
The first album will be available on November 2nd. Titled “The Other Side of Air,” the release comes from Melford’s quintet Snowy Egret featuring Ron Miles, Liberty Ellman, Stomu Takeishi, and Tyshawn Sorey. Already receiving critical acclaim, John Fordham of The Guardian notes “Melford gathers an impressive group of partners for this crisp, complex album…(“The Other Side of Air) is a musical slideshow of ducking-and-diving trumpet/guitar themes that the leader’s crisp piano rejoinders snap at the heels of, jostling improvised polyphonies.”
Premiering live in 2012, with roots that reach back to the mid-’90s, “The Other Side of Air” will be Snowy Egrets’ second full-length album. Their 2015 self-titled release received critical acclaim and notoriety across the jazz and the avant-garde communities.
“I really feel like it’s (Snowy Egret) the vehicle that expresses where I am as a composer, performer and bandleader right now,” said Melford.
The second release “Life Carries Me This Way” is a deluxe double-LP reissue of Melford’s lauded 2013 album. The record features music composed and inspired by the late painter Don Reich, a Melford family friend. The reissue is pressed on 180-gram vinyl cut from high-resolution digital masters by the renowned German pressing plant Pallas GmbH. Praised by critics, as “delightful,” the reissue of “Life Carries Me This Way” will include reproductions of the album’s dust jacket artwork.
Lastly, November will also see the release of a Blu-ray disc of performances captured live during Melford’s week-long 2015 residency at renowned Manhattan jazz club The Stone. Entitled “12 From 25,” this project features presents 12 performances spanning ensembles drawn from 25 years of Melford’s career. The music features both hi-resolution stereo and immersive 5.1 surround mixes of every performance. The disc also includes a short film documenting Myra’s week-long residency at the club by French filmmakers Gil Corre and Sylvain Luini.
-Alex Coughlin, UC Berkeley Music