The Latest Album from Myra Melford’s Snowy Egret Reviewed

Source: The Nation.

The Other Side of Air, the wholly superb recent album by the pianist/composer Myra Melford and her small ensemble Snowy Egret, is shimmering, pulsing proof of this. The project, the 27th album that Melford has released as a bandleader or co-leader over the past three decades, is a musical achievement of a high order. It’s an impeccably accomplished and deeply satisfying collection of jazzy new-music pieces created largely (though not entirely) through free improvisation on melodic, thematic, structural, or attitudinal ideas that Melford provided or suggested to her bandmates. It’s not often clear which elements of the music were composed in advance and which took form spontaneously in the studio, through the interplay of seasoned improvisers skilled at listening to one another and responding imaginatively on the spot. But there’s no harm in that: All the music sounds intuitive and dynamic, openly expressive—alive.