Featuring Allison Miller, Myra Melford, Jenny Scheinman & Todd Sickafoose + special guest Steven Bernstein
When Downbeat Magazine wrote that “Allison Miller’s sponge-like love of all things musical could only mean she was destined to play it all,” the venerable jazz publication had not yet even heard the drummer and composer’s sophomore release with her Boom Tic Boom band, No Morphine, No Lilies. Yet they were right on the money: this leading-edge quartet’s new music—featuring Myra Melford on piano, Jenny Scheinman on violin, Todd Sickafoose on bass and Miller on drums—is at turns challenging and accessible, teasing and tough, virtuosic but never overbearing. It thrives on surprises and projects a vast array of tonal colors, rhythmic and harmonic shape-shifts and rich emotions. Recorded last year at Berkeley’s Fantasy Studios, No Morphine, No Lilies—co-produced by Miller and Sickafoose and featuring 11 compelling and far-reaching compositions—delivers on the promise first suggested by Boom Tic Boom’s acclaimed 2010 self-titled debut. Miller calls No Morphine, No Lilies “a journey, meant to be listened to from the beginning to the end. I believe in creating a full album, and not single tracks. The order of the album is really important to me. Some of my favorite tracks are at the end of the record.” A multi-layered, multi-faceted, unified collection of radiant and energizing songs, the album reveals itself further with each repeated listen. When consensus is had, No Morphine, No Lilies is sure to be viewed as one of 2013’s cornerstone jazz recordings, energizing the genre and demanding that it remains visceral, elevated and relevant to its time.