This is what they would have called, back in the day, a "jazz summit." Myra Melford, Marty Ehrlich, Mark Dresser and Matt Wilson are among the Titans of their generation--"insider heroes of jazz," opines the Wall Street Journal. Towering bandleaders, composers, and educators in their own right, they've joined forces to promote two new albums, the Ehrlich-Melford duet (their second) Spark! on Palmetto and Big Picture by "Trio M" (Melford, Dresser, & Wilson) on Cryptogramophone. The avant-jazz all-star Trio M stole the show at last fall's leading-edge Guelph Jazz Festival, and both discs wound up on many critics' Top 10 lists for 2007.
Pianist Myra Melford, who studied with Don Pullen and Henry Threadgill, is one of the luminaries of modern creative music. "From her first album in 1991, it was clear that this pianist and composer would stay around," says the New York Times. Melford's compositional style is both lyrical and architectural, informed by sounds that range from her native Chicago all the way to South Asia (where she studied devotional music on a Fulbright fellowship). Her albums Alive In the House of Saints (1993), Above Blue (1996) and Even the Sounds Shine (2003--the latter two featuring frequent collaborator Dave Douglas) are milestones in contemporary jazz. A committed educator as well as a writer and performer, Melford is on the faculty of UC-Berkeley's Music Department.
Marty Ehrlich, too, is acclaimed as both a player and a composer. Equally accomplished on clarinets, saxes, and flutes, he has been called (by the Village Voice) "one of the most formidable multi-instrumentalists since Eric Dolphy." Ehrlich has performed as a sideman with everyone from Abrams (Muhal Richard) to Zorn (John), and Jazz Times named his own album News on the Rail one of the best records of 2005. A former Guggenheim fellow, he currently teaches at Hampshire College.
Bassist Mark Dresser's career spans the LA avant-garde of the 1970s to the NYC Knitting Factory of the 90s, with a notable stint with Anthony Braxton in the middle. In the early 70s, he was playing simultaneously with the San Diego Symphony and Stanley Crouch's Black Music Infinity, evincing a versatility that's emblematic of his repertoire, which includes all manner of improvised and composed music for solo contrabass, chamber groups, and small ensembles. Dresser is a professor of music at UCSD.
Matt Wilson recently won the DownBeat Critics Poll in the category of "Rising Star" drummer for the fourth year running. A funny and exuberant but often understated drummer, Wilson put in time with Boston's Either/Orchestra before moving in the early 90s to New York, where he's played and recorded with dozens of top-shelf artists as well as recording seven well-received albums as a leader for Palmetto. His most recent work is "The Carl Sandburg Project," a long piece of jazz and poetry commissioned by the Minnesota Opera.
More Information on the members of Quartet M:
Tickets ($15 General
Admission, $10 Students & Seniors) are available here
at our website, or
at The Metro, The Works, and People's Records.
Dresser, Ehrlich, Melford and Wilson will also
present a FREE public workshop on Sunday, January 27th at 11:00 a.m. in Fulkerson Recital Hall on
the HSU campus.