Allison Miller's Boom Tic Boom / Allison Miller

Boom Tic Boom

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Drummer Allison Miller takes modern jazz to heart on this effort featuring her original music and arrangements with a stellar band, most certainly featuring the visionary pianist Myra Melford. Though the album title Boom Tic Boom might suggest a loud, rock-oriented, static sound, it is far from that. The music is composed by Miller, while it is Melford's deft shapings, quicksilver phrasings, and clever melodic twists and turns alongside bassist Todd Sickafoose that identify this brand of progressive jazz, very tuneful and accessible. Miller herself is quite adept at navigating these rhythms, mostly tricky and angular; she solos only a bit on the opening track but generally paces the trio through Melford's always intriguing, imaginative musings. Aside from a modified take of the lilting Mary Lou Williams composition "Intermission" and a more spiritual version of Hoagy Carmichael's "Rockin' Chair," the rest are originals. The deep boppish blues-funk "Big Lovely" and modal "Cheyenne" should raise ears sufficiently, as they are attention-grabbers. Melford's curious piano does crop up in lower-key pieces, one of which, "CFS" with violinist Jenny Scheinman, is cast in a kinetic but restrained dance mode. It's the kind of thinly veiled, mysterious, yet direct music that draws you in and makes you crave more. Miller has hit on a winning combination, with a band that hopefully can tour, despite the fact that all of these musicians are leaders in their own right.

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