Support All About Jazz

All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. Pay $20 and we'll hide those six pesky Google ads that appear on every page, plus this box and the slideout box on the right for a full year! You'll also fund website expansion.


I want to help
226

Doug Miller: Regeneration

John Barron By

Sign in to view read count
Doug Miller: Regeneration An active bassist/composer/educator from the Seattle, Washington area, Doug Miller has toured with top big band names like the Count Basie Orchestra, and the Duke Ellington Orchestra (under the direction of Mercer Ellington). Having provided a strong side-man presence on numerous releases for Origin Records, Miller gets the opportunity to step into the spotlight as leader with Regeneration, a unique representation of straight-ahead mainstream jazz.

The bulk of the disc is comprised of Miller's stripped-down original compositions performed by a drummer-less trio with drummer Phil Parisot adding a little extra flair to four of the eleven cuts. The bassist composes in short melodic fragments, emphasizing rhythm and creating a harmonic landscape geared for improvised exploration. His swinging 7/4 opener, "Seven More," draws inspiration from John Coltrane's "Giant Steps," and begins a sequenced descent through different time signatures over the disc's first four tracks ("Unity Dance" is in 6/4, "Ice Cave" is in 5/4 "Blues For Junior" is in 4/4). The most interesting of Miller's tunes comes toward the end of the disc with the carefully developed "Ballad for Don and Midge" and the straight-ahead bopper "Lighten Up." The latter featuring inspired set-closing solos from trumpeter Jay Thomas and guitarist Dave Peterson.

Thomas proves to be quite a multi-instrumentalist, skillfully handling trumpet and flugelhorn, with tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone and flute. On "Ice Cave," one can even contrast his sharp trumpet and breathy tenor within the same tune. Peterson relies heavily on single-note lines for solos and sparse chords for accompaniment. The agile guitarist patiently weaves some interesting lines with horn-like phrasing.

Miller's bass playing is featured prominently throughout with arco and pizzicato soloing. It is his unaccompanied bass reading of "Bye Bye Blackbird," however, that really sums up what his playing is all about: no-nonsense, punchy and swinging. The influence of heavy hitter's like bassists Ray Brown and John Clayton is made obvious through nicely-phrased blues licks, double stops and chords.

This music is both interesting and fun. Miller and company come across as a strong, like-minded unit.


Track Listing: Seven More; Unity Dance; Ice Cave; Blues For Junior; Avenue C - Part One; Avenue C - Part Two; Invitation; No Jazz; Bye Bye Blackbird; Ballad For Don And Midge; Lighten Up.

Personnel: Jay Thomas: trumpet, flugelhorn, tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone, flute; Dave Peterson: guitar, keyboard; Doug Miller: bass; Phil Parisot: drums (1,3,8,11).

Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Origin Records | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Regeneration
Regeneration
Origin Records
2008
buy
Louis Armstrong Louis Armstrong
trumpet
Ella Fitzgerald Ella Fitzgerald
vocalist
Charlie Haden Charlie Haden
bass, acoustic
Steve Elmer Steve Elmer
piano
Stan Kenton Stan Kenton
piano
Peter Paulsen Peter Paulsen
bass, acoustic
Tommy Dorsey Tommy Dorsey
trombone
Dave Pietro Dave Pietro
saxophone
Rodney Whitaker Rodney Whitaker
bass, acoustic
Laurent Coq Laurent Coq
piano
Jon Balke Jon Balke
piano
Don Redman Don Redman
arranger

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.