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Recorded following their award-winning collaboration with Ethio jazz pioneer, Mulatu Astatke (Mojo magazine Top 50 of the year 2009, Sunday Times World Music Album of the year), pioneering UK collective The Heliocentrics resurfaced with another fascinating jazz enigma, ethno-musicologist, jazz maestro and multi-instrumentalist, Lloyd Miller.
Learning various instruments and immersing himself in New Orleans jazz through his father, a professional clarinet player, Lloyd Miller first trained himself in the styles of George Lewis and Jimmy Giuffre and cut his first Dixieland jazz 78 rpm record in 1950. During the late ‘50s, his father landed a job in Iran and Miller began to develop a lifelong interest in Persian and Eastern music forms, learning to play a vast array of traditional ethnic instruments from across Asia and the Middle East.
He toured Europe heavily, basing himself in Switzerland, Belgium, Sweden, Germany (where he played with Eddie Harris and Don Ellis) and, most famously, in Paris where he worked with leftfield bandleader Jef Gilson, a phenomenon in French jazz during the early ‘60s. Miller returned to the Middle East during the ‘70s, landing his own TV show on NIRTV in Tehran under the name Kurosh Ali Khan. His show became a national fixture and ran for seven years. More recently, his mid-‘60s album ‘Oriental Jazz’ has become a collector’s favourite.
Emerging from an acoustic jazz session in 2007 set up by Jazzman, the Heliocentrics collaboration was recorded at the band’s Quatermass Studios in East London during January and February 2010, a fresh, freeform mix of Eastern arrangements, jazz and angular psychedelics. The recordings involved a number of ethnic instruments that Miller played and studied throughout his career including the oud, Phonofiddle, Indian santur, Chinese shawm and wooden flute.
4. Spiritual Jazz
5. Bali Bronze
6. Fantasia Pt. 1
9. Pari Ru
10. Lloyd’S Diatribe
11. Fantasia Pt. 2
13. Sunda Sunse