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 unwindsthe 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.
Rhythm Abstraction: Azure is the first volume of new compositions created as a follow up to 2018’s
release Rhythm Kaleidoscope. As with that release, Brock Avery improvised drum and percussion
solos. Frank Macchia then composed music for woodwinds and orchestra to Brock’s creations. Azure
is the first of three extended play albums of 6-7 compositions which will be released starting in
January and followed up in April and July. In Azure we have a created a group of pieces that continue
our quest for honoring the art of improvisation with a “stream-of-consciousness” sense of
We sent a confirmation message to . Look for it, then click the link to activate your account. If you don’t see the email in your inbox, check your spam, bulk or promotions folder.
Thanks for joining the All About Jazz community!
Find All About Jazz articles, news, musician pages, and more!