Snowy Egret: The Other Side of Air
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Premiering live in 2012, with roots that reach back to the mid-’90s, Snowy Egret features the renowned pianist-composer Myra Melford leading and collaborating with four of the most compelling musicians currently at work in jazz and the avant-garde: cornetist Ron Miles, guitarist Liberty Ellman, bass guitarist Stomu Takeishi and drummer (and MacArthur Fellow) Tyshawn Sorey. On two raved-about releases, 2018’s The Other Side of Air (Firehouse 12) and the band’s 2015 self-titled debut (Enja/Yellowbird), an array of concepts and strategies are in play. Hard-angled counterpoint, grooving rhythms, free playing, beautiful melody and harmony, through composition, swing and other elements appear and then dissipate, as the ensemble reconfigures in varying combinations and digs into the material with an intuitive sense of interplay. “There’s a lot of trust,” Melford says, “and there’s a lot of willingness to let go of what was supposed to happen and go with what is happening in the moment.”