.... it’s another Miller Time is an interesting and expressive album that categorically embraces "free jazz." While not terribly impressive, there’s something extraordinary and intriguing here for the really great interpreter of this subgenre out there.
Each song here has a history that could be a book unto itself, I’m sure. That historical material really should have been included with the album, as it was a sort of guide for me as I rather timidly embarked on this "tour."
I suppose the components that I missed most in this material were solid melodies and definitive structure that which is not always present in this type of jazz, I do understand. Its direction was probably quite carefully plotted and will surely be appreciated by the style’s aficionados. Forgive my ignorance, but I’ve never been a huge poetry fan, either, and this always reminds me of that cerebral form of expression that you either "get" or you don’t. That said, it’s obvious that drummer Jim Miller and his band of obviously competent musicians put forth a brilliant effort to convey in music what it sees in a story of sorts. There are also "moments" in the album that even I get. Such moments occurred in the multilayered "aMingus amongus" (get it?), a piece in which, in the midst of all the free expression, I detected familiar form. One huge surprise for me was the last track, a complete retreat from what I’d witnessed thus far. Here, the group launches into a beautifully played rendition of Eric Bogle’s "All the Fine Young Men," as if to say to those like me, "See? We can even bring it ‘home’ for you." I do appreciate that.
Whenever I encounter a project as unfamiliar as this is to me, I try to get "inside" it, to understand it from within. I may not have been entirely successful in this case, but if you’re a follower of unabashed expression in jazz, don’t deny yourself the opportunity to explore this effort.