2. Melford elaborated on the role of her trio in her development in the 23 September, 1996 interview:

"The trio was a great learning experience for me, because I only had a little experience playing with straight ahead jazz with a rhythm section. Lindsey, Reggie, and I clicked really well. At first, I was changing music I had written for solo piano to fit the trio, but then I started writing with the trio in mind, to strengthen the fabric of the ensemble rather than to extend what I did as a soloist."

Does the jazz piano trio carry with it such a strong history of conventions that it's inherently difficult to really stretch it beyond a certain point?"

It's a question I ask myself. There's Matthew Shipp playing more in the vein of Cecil Taylor's ensemble playing, but I wonder how much freedom there can be within a trio, and how much you automatically fall into these structures that have worked historically.

"Is it a case of the format making compositional demands?

"That would make sense given my development during the late '80s and early '90s. I was grappling with how to put together this love of playing the piano texturally and very physically, and the trio pieces that called for traditional melodic and harmonic and rhythmic playing. That took a pretty long time to work through. These are things that I'm still grappling with in new ways."