Since 2014, I have been a die-hard fan of guitarist-composer Dominic Miller. Recently I saw him perform with his band in Rome, Italy and I purchased his new (tenth) album, “Absinthe”. Now I am compelled to write a few words about it 😉
“Absinthe”, produced by ECM’s chief, Manfred Eicher, is an interesting departure from Dominic’s previous nine self-produced albums. It sounds like what it is: Dominic playing live with his bandmates in a relaxed and comfortable studio setting. It doesn’t sound like they are “making” a Compact Disk. There is a lovely loose wanderweg approach, like an impressionistic sonic painting, tonal images and emo-phonics, all held together by Dominic’s solid guitar performance and songwriting. This is an significantly diverse ambience from his previous nine self-produced “solo” albums.
The music is given wings by his open-eared band: Manu Katché (France), impressionistic painter of drums; Sergio Arias (Argentina), Bandoneon player, with his dreamy untraditional-tango folkie way; bassist Nicolas Fiszman (Belgium); the constant north-star point of reference in the band, and tasteful keyboardist, Mike Lindup (UK), close friend and colleague since the 1980’s. In the “spirit” of the mythical, romantic, yet controversial, alcoholic beverage, Absinthe, Miller is asking the listener to step out of themselves and fall under the influence of this music, “in absentia”, in absence of mind, but with an openness of spirit, and enjoy the ride, as on his “Bicycle”, as he winds his way through the hills and valleys.
As a songwriter and guitarist myself, I watch him like a movie and learn from him, as he navigates the mysteries of music and writes his story. Thank you Dominic for your positive and determined approach, your inspiration is not wasted. Your clear, yet ambiguous and seductive approach to composing a piece of music brings me inside the songs, and the sound of your guitar lies in your touch on the strings. Congratulations for your new album and adventures! I hear it as the musical culmination of your passionate Argentinian blood and sensitivity, your Irish blarney, American discipline, and your British humor & reserve 😉 I wish you smooth travels; and I’ll continue my journey, also with my new songs. See you next time around!