Andy Milne’s Dapp Theory ‘Forward in all directions’ (Whirlwind) 3/5

andy-milnes-dapp-theoryFusion jazz is the order of the day on this release from leader and piano, fender and all round keyboardist Andy Milnes, produced by the Yellowjackets Jimmy Haslip. The influences are wide-ranging and extend beyond jazz to include classical, Appalachian folk hip hop as well as Steve Coleman with whom Milne was a band member during the 1990s. One might question whether all these disparate elements come together ideally here. This writer liked some aspects, but less so others. Where the album works best is on the piano plus soprano saxophone duet on ‘Nice to meet you’ and more of this side of the band is needed. In places the classical element is dominant as on ‘The Trust’, or on ‘Search Party’ where contemporary classical and a freer approach collide. A slightly off-centre reading of ‘Photographs’ is a step in the right direction and once again Milne sounds far more authentic and at ease on acoustic piano. In contrast, the busy opener ‘Hopscotch’ with a soprano solo from Aaron Kroziki is out and out fusion, but does not sound any different form dozens of other groups who perform in that particular idiom. Singer Gretchen Parlato guests on ‘Katharsis’ contributing wordless vocals.

Tim Stenhouse