Review by Willard Maus

If you’re looking for a different kind of instrumental sound, something quiet, deeply felt and wistful, pick up a copy of CROSSWAYS, the new Justin Time CD featuring the work of composer/pianist Myriam Alter.

Alter’s mother grew up in Thessaloniki; her father was born in Istanbul and lived there until he was seventeen when he moved to Belgium. Alter draws on all those exotic musical influences in her compositions, eleven of which can be heard on CROSSWAYS.

Michel Bisceglia’s piano-playing is at the heart of all but one of these compositions (Alter takes the bench on No Room to Laugh, a solo tribute to her tutor, Mal Waldron). Bisceglia, who also served as arranger, is a masterful pianist who plays with a warm, expressive touch throughout. He is greatly aided by his skilled band-mates: Luciano Biondini on accordion; John Ruocco, clarinet; Michel Massot, tuba trombone; Nic Thys, acoustic bass; and Lander Gyselinck. Together these European musicians make some two-in-the-morning music that touches one’s heart and soul.