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Venue:
Philadelphia Art Alliance251 S. 18th Street
Philadelphia, PA Map
Price: $20 General Admission
Friday, May 13, 2016 - 8:00pm

Allison Miller’s Boom Tic Boom

Myra Melford, piano
Jenny Scheinman, violin
Kirk Knuffke , cornet
Ben Goldberg, clarinet and contra alto
Todd Sickafoose, bass
Allison Miller, drums

Ars Nova Workshop is pleased to present the return of drummer/composer Allison Miller’s Boom Tic Boom, an inventive sextet bringing together some of the most versatile and idiosyncratic artists in modern jazz.

If the title of Miller’s latest CD, Otis Was a Polar Bear (Royal Potato Family), brings to mind the title of a children’s book, that’s no accident; the music was inspired by the birth of the drummer’s first child. That life-altering experience resulted in Miller’s most compelling set of music to date, alternately playful and profound, raucous and grooving, urgent and soothing. Inspiration ranged from lullabies and silly songs that Miller sang to her young daughter to the tragic killing of Eric Garner by the Staten Island police.

Reviewing the group’s last album, 2013’s No Morphine, No Lilies, Lloyd Sachs of JazzTimes said that Miller “ranges from freebop to foursquare swing, from heartland narratives to urban reflections.” The same eclecticism is on full display on the new album, which Miller began writing in the summer of 2014 while on tour with singer-songwriter Natalie Merchant and fleshed out with the help of a “Presenter Consortium for Jazz Grant” from Chamber Music America.

Miller, whose resume includes work with Dr. Lonnie Smith and Steven Bernstein as well as singer-songwriters Merchant, Ani DiFranco and Toshi Reagon, composed these pieces with the distinctive personalities of her bandmates in mind. Pianist Myra Melford, who melds the cerebral and the swinging in bands like Snowy Egret, Be Bread, and the collective Trio M; violinist Jenny Scheinman, whose music veers between Americana-tinged jazz and singer-songwriter tunes; intrepid cornetist Kirk Knuffke, whose collaborators include drummer Matt Wilson and pianist Uri Caine; clarinetist Ben Goldberg, co-founder of the New Klezmer Trio and member of Tin Hat whose ensembles have included Nels Cline and Joshua Redman; and bassist Todd Sickafoose, who studied with Charlie Haden and went on to work with singer-songwriters Ani DiFranco and Andrew Bird and jazz innovators Nels Cline and Don Byron.