Jazz

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - MUSIC REVIEWS -

DO­MINIC MILLER Silent Light ★★★ ECM

Gui­tarist Do­minic Miller mod­estly notes in the es­say that ac­com­pa­nies his ECM debut that “noth­ing I do is orig­i­nal”, but his sage com­ment may strike just a lit­tle close to home. Miller is a side­man par ex­cel­lence, par­tic­u­larly as­so­ci­ated with Sting, with whom he has col­lab­o­rated for over two decades (and who pro­vides a gen­er­ous lau­da­tion here), and those fa­mil­iar with his work in that con­text will recog­nise the ar­ti­sanal clean­li­ness and pre­ci­sion of Miller’s play­ing on this solo acous­tic set of his own com­po­si­tions (plus one Sting cover, Fields of Gold). But at times, Silent Light is so slight, it sounds like an ac­com­pa­ni­ment with­out a lead, and it can be hard to lo­cate Miller’s own voice. Still, that kind of re­straint is rare and not with­out its charms. One for other gui­tarists. prop­er­mu­sic.com COR­MAC LARKIN

MARC COPLAND Bet­ter By Far ★★★★ In­ner Voice

Marc Copland fol­lows last year’s ex­cel­lent Zenith, his first for his own In­ner Voice la­bel, with an­other quartet record­ing straight out of the top drawer. The Philly-born pi­anist was in his thir­ties be­fore he set­tled on his cho­sen in­stru­ment – not un­til af­ter he had es­tab­lished him­self as a sax­o­phon­ist – which per­haps ex­plains why he is such a unique and com­pelling pi­ano voice, com­bin­ing depth with ac­ces­si­bil­ity, har­monic sub­tlety with af­fect­ing lyri­cism. Add fur­ther lay­ers de­posited by Copland’s heavy­weight group fea­tur­ing trum­peter Ralph Alessi, bassist Drew Gress and drum­mer Joey Baron, all with minds open and ears on stalks, and you have as fine an ex­am­ple of main­stream acous­tic jazz as you’ll hear this year. Noth­ing ter­ri­bly in­no­va­tive, but ter­ri­bly beau­ti­ful. in­ner­voice­jazz.com COR­MAC LARKIN

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