Andy Milne & Dapp Theory: Forward In All Directions

Rating: ★★★

Record and Artist Details

Musicians:

Kenny Grohowski (d)
Christopher Tordini (b)
John Moon (v)
Jean Baylor (v)
Aaron Kruziki (ss, cl, b clnt, as)
Andy Milne (ky)
Gretchen Parlato (v)

Label:

Whirlwind Records

November/2014

Catalogue Number:

WR4660

RecordDate:

2013

It's now 16 years since the New York-based pianist formed Dapp Theory and it's to his credit that this latest release is anything but a retread of past glories such as New Age Of Aquarius, a very convincing blend of heavy funk grooves, often in twisty time signatures, and melodic finesse. This new set sees Milne, a Canadian pianist who first came to prominence as a member of Steve Coleman's Five Elements but has also collaborated with Gregoire Maret and Benoît Delbecq to excellent effect, unveil a more introspective side of his character. The downtempo pieces, in particular, have a probing, caressing manner in which lengthy melodic lines unfold slowly over subtle chordal shifts. The ethereal nature of this palette is greatly enhanced by the slightly Flora Purim-like vocals of Jean Baylor and Gretchen Parlato, but Milne throws a delicious curveball into the air on the album's highlight ‘Katharsis’ by pitting their graceful understatement against the tougher, harder edge of John Moon's rhythmic poetics. In fact, the whole album is a faint reminder of the similar depth of contrasts that Wayne Shorter achieved on his classic collaboration with Milton Nascimento, Native Dancer. This offering marks a distinct growth in Milne's composing and improvising, which is as finely proportioned as the arrangements. It will be interesting to see where he goes next.

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