Dock In Absolute and Dave Milligan Solo. A live review, Saturday 25th March 2023, at St Bride’s Centre, Edinburgh.

This second SPARK gig was about as far as you could imagine from the previous evening’s fare, whilst still being recognisably, undoubtedly Jazz.
Dave Milligan, renowned across Scotland for his sympathetic intermixing of Scottish folk music with contemporary Jazz, opened this afternoon concert, after which Luxembourgish jazzers Dock In Absolute showcased their pianist Jean-Philippe Koch’s Classical chops. Piano jazz was thus the theme of the gig, the two artists however fusing their Jazz with differing genres.
Milligan is a well-kent face to many here in Scotland and has played his part in bringing many Scottish folk music listeners into the Jazz fold. His all too brief six tune solo set today consisted mostly of self-penned tunes, some new and others from his beautiful 2020 album ‘Momento’ (my review of which is here). A final piece was his inimitable take (which included extended technique) of the 18th century folk song that protested the 1707 Acts of Union, ‘Parcel of Rogues’.
Milligan is somewhat of a national treasure, his modest bearing out of keeping with the considerable compositional and playing skills he demonstrates. (Indeed, so very Scottish.) This was Scottish Jazz-folk at its most lyrical and lovely.
The second part of the concert was Luxembourg’s Dock In Absolute. Led by Jean-Philippe Koch on piano, the trio was completed by David Kintziger on electric bass and occasional electronic effects and media recordings and Robert Ivanov on drums.
Rhapsodic and dramatic, and with engaging key shifts, this was decidedly Koch’s piano party. His fingers rarely at rest, they rippled the length of the keyboard, suggesting a romantic classical style of pianism. This juxtaposed with Ivanov’s sturdy jazz drumming contributed to frequent points of high drama. Attractive and lyrical as it was, a quibbler might ask for more airtime be given to Ivanov and Kintziger, whose rare solos hinted at untapped depths to their playing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *