Lloyd Miller & The Heliocentrics – Lloyd Miller & The Heliocentrics (Strut/Border) CD REVIEW

The Heliocentrics are a young English group who last year collaborated with elderly Ethiopian musician Mulatu Astatke for an award-winning comeback. Now they’re trying for a sequel with a different septuagenarian, Persian music master Lloyd Miller.

Combining jazz with the “expanding consciousness”, mystical sound of Alice Coltrane (with Persian elements, of course), it’s at times a very beautiful thing.

The Heliocentrics have been criticised for anaesthetising the “ethnic” sounds of their “legendary” collaborators, but I dare to differ. On this occasion they provide a tasteful and well thought-out backdrop for Miller that never puts a foot wrong. The weak point is perhaps Miller himself, who pretty much plays it safe, making the album not so much an adventure into new sounds as a successful electronic/world music hybrid where Middle Eastern elements can co-exist with gamelan influences. GARY STEEL

SOUND = 3.5

MUSIC = 3.5

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