Otis Was A Polar Bear - Allison Miller

from the album Otis Was A Polar Bear (2016)

Is there anything more inspiring than life?

When NYC jazz drummer Allison Miller and her partner Rachel celebrated the birth of their daughter Josie last year, it inspired her to create some very beautiful art.  Ten original compositions are captured on her new album, Otis Was A Polar Bear.  The title alone makes me smile.

The thing about the record that I really dig is its vibe, which takes the listener to an intimate place where like-minded musicians gather and play softly together.  I usually associate this kind of vibe with a gaggle of guitarists making some form of roots music, not city folk playing jazz.  But here it is, as intimate as a campfire.

Allison Miller's sextet - Boom Tic Boom - consists of upright bass, drums, piano, violin, clarinet, and cornet.  They are all restrained and accomplished in their approach and technique.

On the title track, we are treated to a thoughtful arrangement that sometimes hints of an oriental morning.  Listen to how the instruments all play within each other and trigger off the outstanding piano work of Myra Melford, the bass playing of Todd Sickafoose, and the splendid drumming of Allison Miller.

Is there anything more inspiring than humans making music?

Click Here to listen to the song Otis Was A Polar Bear.

Click Here to watch a video on the creation of the album Otis Was A Polar Bear.

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