Miller, Allison - Rivers In Our Veins CD

SKU 28-RYPO2319.2
One of the great, contemporary band leaders who keeps building up a hugely impressive body of work(s). And look at the band!
Allison Miller - drums, percussion, vibraphone
Jenny Scheinman - violin
Jason Palmer - trumpet
Ben Goldberg - clarinet, contra-alto clarinet
Carmen Staaf - piano, rhodes, accordion
Todd Sickafoose - upright bass

"Drummer Allison Miller brings together a rustic Americana sound with her inventive modern jazz harmonies on her ambitious 2023 LP Rivers in Our Veins. Commissioned by the Mid-Atlantic Arts Organization and Lake Placid Center for the Arts, the album is a 12-song cycle inspired by the many rivers and watersheds of the United States, as well as the organizations devoted to protecting those vital resources. Integral to the work is Miller's ensemble, beginning with pianist Carmen Staaf, with whom she worked closely during the composition phase. Equally key is violinist Jenny Scheinman, a longtime associate who helped breathe yet more life into the folk-inflected songs at the core of Miller's vision. Rounding out Miller's group are Ben Goldberg on contra-alto and B-flat clarinets, trumpeter Jason Palmer, and bassist Todd Sickafoose. Initially conceived as a cross-disciplinary multimedia work, the album also features a cadre of tap dancers, including Claudia Rahardjanoto, Michelle Dorrance, Elizabeth Burke, Byron Tittle, and Orlando Hernández. While the use of tap dancers in jazz is a long and storied tradition, the way Miller incorporates them so seamlessly into her music is notable. Often, their rhythmic shuffle, stomp, and click -- while distinctly recognizable as tap dance -- quickly becomes an added percussion instrument in itself. There is a sprawling sense of movement to many of Miller's songs, as in the opening "Of Two Rivers," whose two sections represent the Susquehanna River with its North Branch in New York and West Branch in Pennsylvania. The song starts with a rising orchestral feel, with Scheinman's violin rubbing against the reedy sigh of Goldberg's clarinet as Palmer adds a gurgling trumpet aside, all of which evoke the image of a great riverboat pushing off from shore and making its way down a river. From there, it glides into wide-swinging, gospel-inflected blues as Palmer shouts brassy choruses over Sickafoose's bowed, foghorn-like bass notes. Part two is more kinetic, as Staaf lays down glassy piano chords against a skittering chorus of tap-danced water droplets before Palmer swoops in with edgy trumpet lines like a heron diving for fish. Yet more evocative and cinematic songs follow, like "Hudson," where Miller lays down a steady groove that sounds like a train cutting a dusky shadow over Scheinman's long gray violin lines. In contrast, "For the Fishes" is all percolating tap dance rhythms over which Palmer and Goldberg leap and dance like a free jazz take on a 1930s cartoon soundtrack theme. There's also the crisp Latin chamber number "Wild Blue Indigo" and the Gulf Coast funk of "GO!." With Rivers in Our Veins, Miller and her band have crafted a heartfelt tonal map of the nation's waterways, one that pulls you deep within the swell of its musical tide." - AllMusic
  • LabelRoyal Potato
  • UPC020286242673
Your Price $19.00

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