Monday, August 16, 2010

Lloyd Miller & The Heliocentrics

Lloyd Miller & The Heliocentrics

Last night I attended a concert at Orchestra Hall in Detroit given by the Silk Road Ensemble with Yo-Yo Ma. It was an awe-inspiring performance that blended musical traditions from around the world in a highly accessible manner. It reminded me of Lloyd Miller, an American musician and doctor of ethno-musicology who specializes in Persian sounds, blending them with American jazz tradition.

During the '50s and '60s, Miller played with top jazz artists in Europe such as Don Ellis, Eddie Harris and Jef Gilson, and recorded an interesting album called Oriental Jazz.

Miller's interest in Persian music began in his youth when his father got a job in Iran during the '50s. Miller learned to play many exotic instruments such as the oud.

Renewed interest in Miller's music in recent years led to a new collaboration with The Heliocentrics, a UK-based group. The album's free-form mix of Eastern arrangements, jazz and psychedelic production offers a transporting headphone experience. Highlights include the reflective "Spirit Jazz," the cinematic "Electricone" and a new version of the Miller classic "Massom."

Lose yourself in it.

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