260

Tim Miller: Trio

Phil DiPietro By

Sign in to view read count
Tim Miller: Trio Tim Miller's third indie effort stands out by manifesting his influences as an aural whole. Compositionally, the freedom and openness in the music reflects the deep influence of Keith Jarrett, while sonically, the air-infused yet electric guitar sound dances with bass and drums mixed in a pastoral acoustic style. Even with headphones, the listener hears the trio of instruments entwined in the air, coupled by intense playing and musicianship.

From the perspective of guitar-related influences we hear the chordal inspiration of a fellow Bostonian, voicing-god Mick Goodrick. Linearity is Miller's calling card, seamlessly melding Allan Holdsworth's 21st Century legato technique with a non-guitar-centric, truly jazz vocabulary and phraseology, with notes percussing from the fretboard in pianistic fashion.

Another facet that takes Trio up a notch is the particular attention paid to tone and articulation on the high end. Miller devoted requisite consideration and time to sonics, and the dividends are sumptuous. An advocate of the ergonomically correct Klein axes, Miller's performance on "Untied sounds as if he's playing two of them at once, electric for the atmospheric chords of the intro and acoustic for the quick sixteenth-note turn-backs found on high, doubled by the drums. Take Toriyama's tone is apart from the more athletic norms of the "fusion realm, with more of the room than the kit in the mix. His use of slackened snare, coupled with bassist Josh Davis' booming upright sound, is especially effective on this track.

Miller employs a super-thick tone for his solo, alternating bop-legato mastery with sax-like repeated figures that belie the layout of the fretboard. Miller can lay into a rock'n'roll repeating hyperspeed four-note figure akin to traditional Hendrix or Page twelfth-fret pentatonics, but in the middle of the neck, using four notes at spread intervals of the harmony-of-the moment, something more out of Mike Brecker's vocabulary.

While the recording weighs in at the forty-minute mark, there's much to be said for concentration and self-editing. "Sparkle is ninety seconds of inspired melodic riffing against Toriyama's percussion arsenal and will alone reward consecutive listening surpassing the total of the disc's real time. It would be an interesting musical exercise to map out here where each of Miller's melodic phrases begins or ends, or to pick the midpoint of each. I am sure each roadmap would in turn comprise alternate songs. Similarly, the three minutes of "MG, dedicated to mentor and Berklee fellowman Goodrick, forge a successful marriage of modern rock balladry with jazz.

"Straight Lines is the composition of the set, a mid-tempo cut smoldering with the passion and memorable melody usually reserved for ballads, especially in Miller's opening solo salvo. The two "Density compositions, using minimal themes fashioned from rhythmic chordal materials growing out of and into weaving strands of single-note improvisation, reveal substantial rewards unearthed by exploring repetition as a means of mining new melodic and improvisational territory.

Nothing should stand between this one getting heard and Miller's justifiably meteoric ascension on the worldwide guitar-watchers org-chart.


Track Listing: Intro; Untied; Shift; Paris; Sparkle; Straight Lines; The Trees the Sun; Density One; TR; Two View; Density Two; MG.

Personnel: Tim Miller: guitar; Joshua Davis: bass; Take Toriyama: drums.

Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: TimMillermusic.com | Style: Fusion/Progressive Rock


Shop

More Articles

Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Final Concert CD/LP/Track Review The Final Concert
by John Sharpe
Published: February 19, 2017
Read Desire & Freedom CD/LP/Track Review Desire & Freedom
by Glenn Astarita
Published: February 19, 2017
Read On Hollywood Boulevard CD/LP/Track Review On Hollywood Boulevard
by Budd Kopman
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Motorman's Son CD/LP/Track Review The Motorman's Son
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 18, 2017
Read "Play All the Notes" CD/LP/Track Review Play All the Notes
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 8, 2016
Read "Billionaire Blues" CD/LP/Track Review Billionaire Blues
by Mark Werlin
Published: January 19, 2017
Read "Deep Memory" CD/LP/Track Review Deep Memory
by John Sharpe
Published: December 22, 2016
Read "Lovers" CD/LP/Track Review Lovers
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 23, 2016
Read "The Invariant" CD/LP/Track Review The Invariant
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 17, 2017
Read "Louisiana Soul Revival Featuring Doug Duffey" CD/LP/Track Review Louisiana Soul Revival Featuring Doug Duffey
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: November 21, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!