Wednesday 18 September 2019

'Resavoir' by Resavoir

'Resavoir' is the self-titled and debut album and project from trumpeter, musician and producer, Will Miller.

Released through the always compelling Chicago label, International Anthem - home to incredible offerings from Angel Bat Dawid, Ben LaMar Gay and Makaya McCraven - 'Resavoir' proves to be such a natural fit within the International Anthem's ethos of forward-thinking and "progressive" music.

Miller's work up to this release has primarily relied on session recordings for a range of artists including Mac Miller, Eryn Allen Kane, Terri Walker and Adriana Evans, all the while slowly cultivating the music that would go on to form the basis of Resavoir.  Initially composed by Miller through a series of samples & loops before slowly introducing layers of different musicians into the proverbial gumbo - the resulting concoction boasts seemingly strong nods to a '70s aesthetic but still forges gloriously ahead with its own multi-layered and kaleidoscopic sound.

With an initial line-up comprising of Akenya Seymour on vocals and keyboards, Irvin Pierce on sax, Lane Beckstrom on bass, and then Peter Manheim and Jeremy Cunningham on drums, further contributions come in the form of harpist Brandee Younger who introduces such a dynamic texture to 'Taking Flight' (herself riding high with the release of her 'Soul Awakening' album from earlier this year), and vocalist/saxophonist Sen Morimoto guests on 'Escalator' masterfully matching Resavoir's rapid pace set for their compelling lead single. 

With the original version of 'Escalator' initially having been released in January, the evolution of the song from then to the album version gives some indication of the time and development that was put into the whole project - the single ("demo") version appears without Morimoto's vocal and is also accompanied by a ten minute live rendition from 2018 that further reinvents the song.

There must be a genuine sense of pride for Miller, and all involved, at the eventual release of this project with all the years that have been poured into it.  'Resavoir' absolutely an exquisite and inspired release - an absolute gem and one that stands incredibly tall amongst the year's best.

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