Joel Miller

Swim

origin 82613

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MUSIC REVIEW BY Alain Brunet, La Presse - Quebec

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Not only is Joel Miller indeed among the most formidable tenormen of Montreal but he proves one of our best composers and more open minded leaders. That at least is what is observed since the late 90s : Find A Way (1996), Playgrounds (1998) , Sky Beneath My Feet (1999) , And Then Everything Started to Look Different (2001) , Mandala ( 2004) , Tantramar (2008) and the new Swim which will be played this Saturday the Upstairs .

You cannot enumerate his many contributions to the Montreal community (especially those of his wife, the very talented saxophonist and composer Christine Jensen) and multiple openings internationally (next summer, there will be sessions with drummer Brian Blade). His repertoire ranges, therefore, from indie and electronic versions of popular music that is still faithful to the jazz aesthetics .

His new album will not lie to us. In Swim, Miller took care in collecting his best contacts and thus offers up a world-class recording: San Diego virtuoso pianist Geoffrey Keezer (formerly of the Jazz Messengers) and New York drummer Greg Ritchie (ex- Montrealers once sideman Franeois Bourassa), join bassist Fraser Hollins.

This lineup is ideal because the saxophonist's ideas are compiled for a great rhythm section and especially one of the greatest jazz pianists of the current period. Joel Miller thus poses the challenge of raising his own game and getting out of his comfort zone, and we can say without hesitation "mission accomplished."

Melodies, harmonies and rhythms are part of this perfect cohesion, and the fluid and high-flying solos (by both Miller and Keezer) serve these compositions well, making them both inspired and accessible to all. In my mind the best jazz album Quebec has launched since the beginning of 2012.








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