Myra Melford

New Releases from Marta Sanchez, Myra Melford, Julieta Eugenio and More

This broadcast presents new releases from flutist Ragan Whiteside, the Yu Nishiyama Big Band, saxophonist Julieta Eugenio, vocalist Bidi Dworkin, pianist Marta Sanchez, and Myra Melford's Fire and Water Quartet with birthday shoutouts to KJ Denhert, Jackie Cain, Tania Maria, Carmen Souza, Brittany Anjou, Yoko Miwa and Jennifer Wharton, among others. Thanks for listening and please support the artists you hear by purchasing their music during this time of pandemic so they can continue to distract, comfort and inspire.

Mike Westbrook, Gary Bartz, Laura Jurd and Myra Melford triumph at Cheltenham Jazz Festival’s emphatic live return

Crossing Cheltenham town centre between gigs I passed someone wearing an ‘Old Guys Rule’ T-shirt. It had a superficial relevance to the jazz festival - across the weekend I’d seen a number of male jazz veterans more than prove their worth. But they were well balanced by equally great performances from younger women proving that, in the jazz world at least, the mug slogan no longer held true. To paraphrase The Duke – there’s only two kinds of musicians: good musicians and the other kind and Cheltenham mostly had the former. Mike Westbrook also notably paraphrased Ellington with the suite On Duke’s Birthday rendered by his sprawling 25-strong Uncommon Orchestra led by Matthew Bourne. While capturing the Ellingtonian swoon of reeds against stabbing brass, the Duke came splendidly in and out of focus through Westbrook’s long-established brand of orchestrated chaos. Vocalist Phil Minton’s deconstruction of It Don’t Mean a Thing and Kate Westbrook’s chirpy delivery of Ellington’s absurd Tulip or Turnip were the icing on a lively and memorable cake. Westbrook’s fellow octogenarian Gary Bartz (below) made an equally memorable festival debut, his fluent alto and soprano perfectly served by young UK band Maisha’s deep understanding of the spiritual jazz playbook. Their collaboration had a joyous mutual energy that visibly pleased Bartz immensely.
Picture for Mike Westbrook, Gary Bartz, Laura Jurd and Myra Melford triumph at Cheltenham Jazz Festival’s emphatic live return

Newsbits: Jimmy Bennington / Innova Recordings / Murder of Crows / Myra Melford / Steve Reich

Chicago’s Montrose Saloon will feature Fridays Happy Hour Jazz with Jimmy Bennington Colour and Sound, Friday, May 20th, 6-8 pm. Eight new artists joined the Innova Recordings label: Alexa Dexa, Anil Çamci, Ayanna Woods, J.E. Hernández, a group consisting of Melanie Dyer/Todd Capp/Anna Gruman/Kurt Ralske, Music Research Strategies LLC, Shara Lunon, and thingNY (Rick Burkhardt, Gelsey Bell, Andrew Livingston, Paul Pinto, Erin Rogers, Dave Ruder, Jeffrey Young).
Picture for Newsbits: Jimmy Bennington / Innova Recordings / Murder of Crows / Myra Melford / Steve Reich

Myra Melford – ‘For the Love of Fire and Water’

(Rogue Art Rogart 0119. Album review by Jon Turney) Pianist and composer Myra Melford’s name is up front but a glance at the personnel here suggests an ensemble of highly accomplished equals, and their recorded offering meets the expectation. Past collaborations with each of them led to Melford bringing...

One month until Cheltenham Jazz Festival’s 25th Anniversary Edition with Gregory Porter, Nubya Garcia, Gary Bartz, Myra Melford and many more

The quarter-century celebrations kick off in style, with Guy Barker leading both his Big Band and the BBC Concert Orchestra in a premiere of a unique symphonic celebration commissioned by the Festival. The massed big band and orchestra will support a star-studded line up of guest singers including Gregory Porter, Paloma Faith, Imelda May and fast rising newcomers Adeline and Georgia Cécile. The concert will also feature the greatest jazz songs of the past 100 years alongside some of the standout moments from across the Festival’s 25-year history (Henry Weston’s Big Top, Thursday 28 April). Further headliners include Gregory Porter, Jamie Cullum, Corinne Bailey Rae, Robert Plant, James Bay, Paloma Faith, Emeli Sandé, Tom Odell, Nubya Garcia, Imelda May, Gabrielle, Seun Kuti, PP Arnold, Brian Jackson, Gary Bartz, Jordan Rakei and.