The most poignant music is often inspired by watershed events in an artist's life, and few occasions are more transformative than the arrival of one's first child. For Allison Miller, the extraordinary drummer, composer and leader of her band Boom Tic Boom, that life-affirming experience provided the seed that led to the creation of her new full-length studio album, Otis Was a Polar Bear. The album, with violinist Jenny Scheinman, cornet player Kirk Knuffke, clarinetist Ben Goldberg, upright bassist Todd Sickafoose, pianist Myra Melford, and Miller on drums and mallet percussion, is Miller's latest collection of 10 original compositions following her 2013 critically acclaimed No Morphine, No Lilies, which Downbeat Magazine said ''reveals her exemplary chops and stylistic breadth.'' The birth of Miller's (and partner Rachel's) daughter Josie found the NYC-based drummer reordering her priorities and the very way in which she approached her art.
As Miller settled into the parenting groove, as she resumed playing and composing she quickly realized that her art was naturally evolving to reflect the path her life had taken. Josie is the muse for her latest works, and Miller's compositions chart an inspirited soundtrack to the beginnings of a new life chapter. ''I have so much patience now,'' Miller says. ''There's something very humbling about being a parent. I feel joyful and grateful and I'm writing and playing with this fresh perspective, this new world of creativity has just been hatched. It's like I'm doing it all for the first time.'' That joy and revived enthusiasm is truly evident on Otis Was a Polar Bear, the title of which owes itself to an imagined dream of Miller's dog, a tiny, 12-pound Havanese. ''The last record was about such intense hardship and pain. This record is the other side of all that - it's the beauty that comes after a storm.''
2. High T
3. Slow Jam
4. Staten Island
6. The Listener (For Josh Cantor)
7. Hoarding The Pod
8. Otis Was A Polar Bear
9. Pig In A Sidecar
10. Lullaby For Cookie
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