Home » Jazz Articles » Album Review » Dominic Miller: Silent Light

8

Dominic Miller: Silent Light

By

Sign in to view read count
Dominic Miller: Silent Light
Dominic Miller is a guitarist you've undoubtedly heard somewhere or other, whether you've knowingly heard of him or not. A life circling the globe (from Argentina to England and currently France) has let him absorb folk, Baroque and Latin American sensibilities, among other things, which leads to collaborations with similarly eclectic names. His widest exposure has been with numerous tours alongside Sting, who's happy to offer some poetic words of praise in the liners here alongside Paul Simon. Miller's ECM label debut offers a pleasant spin through some colorful tones of the places his travels have taken him.

The album starts off building a slow circular pattern, hinting at something middle-Eastern with a sinuous minor key and light hand percussion chiming along in the background. The soft earthy touches set a leisurely pace at which the rest of the recording sparsely unwinds—the plucking of nylon strings brings out Spanish or classical shadings throughout, and the mostly-solo format makes sure the music always has space to echo and breathe. The mysterious vibe manages to stay subtly alluring for the most part, even if a couple spots drift toward what you might call easy-listening territory (mainly with a peaceful new-agey take on Mr. Sumner's staple "Fields of Gold").

Close friend Miles Bould plays his background role using the aural equivalent of pale watercolors: a little pattering of shaker in "Water," for instance, or light cymbal splashes through the coasting groove of "En Passant." They both step it up with the skittering "Chaos Theory," which overdubs the pair playing with jaunty staggered timings and still effortlessly keeping in step. It makes the disc's liveliest moment while disrupting the contemplative vibe not at all.

Silent Light is a recording as peaceful and evocative as its title suggests: exotic motifs convey moods from several continents, chord structures can be left ambiguous or implied rather than stated, and extra sounds are sprinkled around with a light touch only where they're judged to add something. Dominic Miller's quiet travelogue is one that finds its most successful moments in giving hints as much as in showing or telling.

Track Listing

What You Didn't Say; Urban Waltz; Water; Baden; En Passant; Angel; Chaos Theory; Fields of Gold; Tisane; Valium; Le Pont.

Personnel

Dominic Miller: guitar, electric bass; Miles Bould: percussion, drums.

Album information

Title: Silent Light | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: ECM Records

Comments

Tags

Concerts


For the Love of Jazz
Get the Jazz Near You newsletter All About Jazz has been a pillar of jazz since 1995, championing it as an art form and, more importantly, supporting the musicians who create it. Our enduring commitment has made "AAJ" one of the most culturally important websites of its kind, read by hundreds of thousands of fans, musicians and industry figures every month.

You Can Help
To expand our coverage even further and develop new means to foster jazz discovery and connectivity we need your help. You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky ads plus provide access to future articles for a full year. This winning combination will vastly improve your AAJ experience and allow us to vigorously build on the pioneering work we first started in 1995. So enjoy an ad-free AAJ experience and help us remain a positive beacon for jazz by making a donation today.

More

In Duo
David Liebman, Jeff Williams
Two Moons
Michelle Lordi
Homage
Michael Weiss
Being
Chris Rottmayer

Popular

Jazz Hands
Bob James
Esengo
London Afrobeat Collective
Light Streams
John Donegan - The Irish Sextet

Get more of a good thing!

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories, our special offers, and upcoming jazz events near you.