January 14, 2008
The Redwood Jazz Alliance is thrilled to announce a very special addition to its spring 2008 calendar.
On Saturday, January 26th at 8:00 p.m., four of the most gifted and adventurous improvisers in jazz today, Pianist Myra Melford, multi-reedist Marty Ehrlich, bassist Mark Dresser, and drummer Matt Wilson, all critically acclaimed bandleaders and composers in their own right, join together on stage at Fulkerson Recital Hall on the campus of Humboldt State University for a singular night of musical exploration.
In a throwback performance reminiscent of the jazz summits of days gone by, Melford, Ehrlich, Dresser, and Wilson will combine into three different ensembles. First Melford and Ehrlich, in support of their outstanding 2007 release, "Spark" (Palmetto), will renew their rich and unpredictable dialogues as a duo. In the second portion of the show, Melford will collaborate with Dresser and Wilson to form Trio M, a group whose inaugural recorded effort, "Big Picture" (Cryptogramophone), made nearly every jazz critic's best-of-2007 list. And the evening will conclude with all four players joining forces, for their first-ever live performance, as Quartet M, a super-group whose abundance of gifts promise not to be not only arithmetic but exponential.
As rare and wonderful as the concert promises to be, its quicksilver collaborative spirit is nothing new for Melford, who routinely participates in several working ensembles at any given time. Her work with Ehrlich reaches back almost eight years, and though Trio M played together for the first time early in 2006, the group is a natural extension of the many Times Melford, Dresser, and Wilson have crossed paths while playing in other combinations. Always working a line between something serene and something restless, always practicing the boldest, most vulnerable sort of empathy, Melford and her mates are alchemists, first and last, committed to being flexible, and dedicated to the unpredictable. As *Jazziz* magazine recently put it, Melford's groups demonstrate an uncommon "confidence to go into uncharted territory, and the ability to carry listeners along and then bring them back."
Melford, who studied under the late, great Don Pullen, shares her mentor's dexterous feel for both angular flights and blues grooves. She is at home in the pocket of a familiar melody or on the edge of an avant-garde improvisation, and her versatility has made her highly sought after as a collaborator by some of the greatest names in modern jazz, including Henry Threadgill and Dave Douglas.
Critically acclaimed as both a composer and player, and equally fluent on clarinet, saxophone, and flutes, Ehrlich has been hailed by the *Village Voice* as "one of the most formidable multi-instrumentalists since Eric Dolphy . . . the jazz dream musician." Beyond his work with Melford, the list of leaders he's played with is as long as your arm; highlights include:
Muhal Richard Abrams, John Carter, Jack DeJohnette, Andrew Hill, and Oliver Lake.
On the music scene since 1972, Dresser has played free jazz with L.A.¹s Black Music Infinity group, classical music with the San Diego Symphony, and been a member of Anthony Braxton¹s pioneering New York jazz group of the late 1980s. In addition to Trio M, and his ongoing work as a professor at the University of California at San Diego, his most recent projects include trio work with Ehrlich and drummer Andrew Cyrille.
Wilson, winner of the 2007 *DownBeat* Rising Star Drummer Award, began his career as a leader with a highly regarded 1996 collaboration with Dewey Redman. He has worked with the Either/Orchestra and the Charlie Kohlhase Quintet, and has settled in New York, where collaborations have included work with, among others, Lee Konitz, Tim Hagans, Bill Mays and Cecil McBee.
He currently leads his highly inventive Arts & Crafts band.
Their performance on Friday night will, like all RJA events, be followed by a FREE public workshop at 11:00 a.m. On Sunday, January 27th, in Fulkerson Rectial Hall on the HSU campus.
The Melford-Ehrlich-Dresser-Wilson performance and public lecture are presented with the generous support of Wildberries Marketplace, top of the hill G Street, in Arcata. The RJA wants especially to thank Wildberries president and owner Phil Ricord. Without Phil's commitment to our efforts, this exciting show quite simply would not be possible, and because of his support ticket prices for this RJA event will once again be $15 General Admission and $10 for students and seniors.
To order tickets and other RJA merchandise online, and to get details about the entire Redwood Jazz Alliance Spring Season (which features upcoming appearances by the Marcus Shelby Jazz Orchestra, Wayne Horvitz's Sweeter Than the Day, the Miguel Zenon Quartet, Jewels and Binoculars, the David Berkman Trio, and Ben Allison with Man Size Safe) please visit our
Advance tickets are also available at The Metro, The Works (both locations), and People's Records.
For more information, tune in to "Bright Moments with the Redwood Jazz Alliance," this Friday night (and every Friday night) at 8:00-10:00 pm on KHSU 90.5 FM and KHSR 91.9 FM. Also, please check out our new "Bright Moments" weblog at: http://brightmomentsjazz.blogspot.com/
We in the RJA are incredibly gratified and humbled by your enthusiastic support of our efforts to host great jazz musicians from around the world.
We can't thank you enough for coming out to the shows, listening to the radio show, and spreading the good word. You make our work possible.
We hope you continue to enjoy the season and we hope you will join us on January 26th for another extraordinary night of music.