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Straight No Chaser - A Jazz Show

Welcome to Straight No Chaser, the Award-winning Podcast hosted by Jeffrey Siegel

Dec 28, 2023

Dominic Miller may be best known to the world as Sting’s “right-hand man on guitar” and co-writer of “Shape of My Heart,” among the ex-Police bassist's other pop hits. But the multi-faceted Miller has a completely different outlet for his improvisatory talents as well.

Vagabond is the guitarist’s third recording for ECM, and might prove his most poetic tale to date. After Dominic’s debut Silent Light (2017), which captured the guitarist in solo performances with occasional percussive injections by Miles Bould, Absinthe (2019) found him expand his subtle instrumental sketches in a quintet lineup. For Vagabond, the guitarist has come up with a quartet, and partnered up with Ziv Ravitz on drums and Swedish pianist Jacob Karlzon, while long-time collaborator Nicolas Fiszman returns on bass.

Most of the tunes come from solo sketches, several from the isolated period of the recent pandemic. Once he was in the south of France in April 2021 with producer Manfred Eicher, the tunes began to build, develop and become showcases for his sidemen to interject their musical skills.  The guitarist provides a framework for Ziv, Jakob and Nicolas to spread out in, whether the slow-burning groove of “Altea” or the mesmerizing balladry of “Lone Waltz,” with each player building dynamic momentum.

Born in Argentina to an American father and Irish mother, Miller was raised in the U.S. from age 10 and then educated there and in England. The guitarist’s international mindset has only been deepened through decades touring the globe, working with the likes of Paul Simon, The Chieftains, Plácido Domingo and, most often, Sting. This quartet will be touring Europe between Sting jaunts in the Winter and Spring of 2024, so keep your eyes open for a date near you.

Musical selections for Podcast 962 include “Lone Waltz” and the fiery “All Changes,” the latter inspired from Sting’s use of arpeggios in the Police classic “When the World is Running Down, You Make the Best of What’s Still Around.”