Myriam Alter got a classical training starting at the age of 8 years. Involved in her studies (graduating from high school, then getting a licence for psychology at the University of Brussels), she had to stop practising her instrument at the age of 15. She then started to work in an advertising agency for a period of seven years. After that, without really being aware of it, she went back to the search of music by opening a dancing school that she managed for another period of seven years.
This was when she really felt the need to start studying the piano again. Her inborn tendency to improvised music brought her very naturally to jazz. She started to study by her own and later with American saxophonist John Ruocco, American piano player Denis Luxion, and finally Dutch bass player Hein van de Geyn who followed her career closely and was to become the producer of her first three records.
Playing mainly jazz standards, Myriam Alter first formed a quartet, then a quintet together with Belgian musicians. After working with these guys for a while, she started to write her own music. When she started to feel comfortable with her music and got recognition for it, she decided to record a first album with Ben Sluys (B) on saxophone, Gino Lattuca (B) on trumpet, Michel Benita (F) on bass, Jan de Haes (B) on drums and herself on piano. As this album was successful, it was followed by another one with the same musicians except Stefan Lievestro (H) playing bass instead of Michel Benita. The second album also got very good reviews. The press emphazised especially Myriam's ability for composing.
So the idea of making an international album occurred. "Alter Ego" was recorded in New York in 1997 with Billy Drewes (USA) on sax and clarinet, Ron Miles (USA) on trumpet, Kenny Werner (USA) on piano, Marc Johnson (USA) on bass and Joey Baron (USA) on drums. While Myriam left the piano seat to Kenny Werner, the quintet only played Myriam's compositions.
Then came the time to write music that would really express "who she was." The resulting album was called "If".