Monday, April 12, 2010

Allison Miller - Boom Tic Boom (Foxhaven, 2010)

Allison Miller is an exciting young drummer who has played with many different ensembles in the rock and jazz world. On this album, she is joined by pianist Myra Melford and bassist Todd Sickafoose for a set of open ended modern jazz. Melford was the perfect choice for this recording, her playing runs the gamut of emotions from vulnerable to powerful and really brings the compositions and performances to life. "Cheyenne" opens the album with a drum solo, and then evolves into a dark toned trio improvisation with a hard percussive section and a spacey open section, in a suite like fashion. "Fead" downshifts to a slower groove, with brushes and bass probing at the music in a subtle manner. "Rockin' Chair" is a ballad that features Sickafoose playing strong and deeply elastic sounding bass on a open and patient performance. "Be Melting Snow" was the highlight of the album, a very dynamic performance that shifts from fractured free playing to a quiet bass and piano section and finally fast and percussive trio improvisation. Violinist Jenny Scheinman sits in on "CFS (Candy Flavored Sidewalks) giving the music an unexpected but very pleasant country tinge, like an improvised hoedown. This album works quite well, the compositions and improvisations cover a lot of ground and the musicians really make a statement both as a group and individually The music is multi-faceted and progressive, while still being quite accessible.Boom Tic Boom - amazon.com

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