In jazz, even the most skilled composer-improvisers are often only as good as the company they keep. The give-and-take nature of the art form dictates such an equation. Since the early '90s, pianist Myra Melford has distinguished herself as a world-class bandleader and a go-to collaborator. Her partnerships speak for themselves. On nearly two dozen albums and in countless concerts, she has teamed up with some of the creative forces of the day, from avant-garde godfather Joseph Jarman to perennial Down Beat favorite Dave Douglas. Melford's latest recording, Heart Mountain, pairs her with violinist Tanya Kalmanovitch in a dynamic improvised set that affirms the pianist's ongoing commitment to a type of contemporary musicmaking that deals with melody, harmony, rhythm, and timbre as liquid concepts. It's no wonder she called her acclaimed group with Douglas The Same River, Twice; her music flows like a living body of water. Fans can expect this ethos to fuel Melford's live shows tonight, where she takes the stage first for duets with saxophonist Marty Ehrlich, and then for quartet investigations with Trio M (Ehrlich, bassist Mark Dresser, and drummer Matt Wilson). The collective power of these alliances promises creative exploration of the highest level.
Mon., Jan. 28, 8 & 10 p.m., 2008