Andy Milne: The reMission

Mike Jurkovic By

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Andy Milne: The reMission
Ever hear a disc and wonder why the deep-seated beauty of some players' music escapes your radar? Juno Award-winning pianist and composer Andy Milne's The reMission, a challenging, tough, terse and ultimately triumphant recording, is one of those. One of those discs that, after several uninterrupted listens, has one digging into the discography scrambling to catch up.

A composer with an agile, far flung curiosity, Milne has held the bench for Ravi Coltrane and Ralph Alessi. He's teamed with Andrew Cyrille, Bruce Cockburn, William Shatner, Dianne Reeves and Tyshawn Sorey. As a former student of Oscar Peterson, Milne centered Steve Coleman's M Base for six years and has released over a dozen discs under his own name, including six with the quietly influential Dapp Theory and now the exquisite, first ever trio release, The reMission .

Deserving of a wide audience, The reMission opens misleadingly with an ebullient take on McCoy Tyner's animated "Passion Dance." The answer is the diagnosis of a life-threatening disease. The music quickly becomes a Gordian knot of tonalities (the haunted "Resolution," the hushed, insistent interplay of "Anything but Anything") and at others a smorgasbord of traditional ley lines ("Winter Palace.")

Moving classically in every aspect of the word while stimulating visions of all artists creating, evincing the concerns and humors of the present day, "Vertical On Opening Night" is the mysterious travel of the quiet soul and the truth of how it feels after your diagnosis. It's the dark suspension of time that follows, strobe lit by untethered light. And though Milne voices only three of the legion of voices that might resound in your head at such a time, himself, bassist John Hébert and drummer Clarence Penn each has something profound to say.

And say it they do, with cutting character and sonorous clarity on "Drive By -The Fall," the coiled, free falling "Dancing On the Savannah," and the dark, arcing movement of "The Call." With all the atonal intimacy and polyrhythmic history of piano trios past and present, think Paul Bley, Keith Jarrett, Bill Evans, Milne, Hebert and Penn close out this grand statement with the fragile sturdy joy of "Sad to Say" and instantly posit The reMission as of one this year's finest recordings.

Track Listing

Passion Dance; Resolution; Winter Palace; Vertical On Opening Night; Drive By-The Fall; Anything but Anything; Dancing On the Savannah; The Call; Geewa; Sad to Say.


Andy Milne: piano; John Hébert: bass; Clarence Penn: drums.

Album information

Title: The reMission | Year Released: 2020 | Record Label: Sunnyside Records

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