THE SEASONS OF BEING
Ah, the old chestnut of music and healing. Even born sceptics like me subscribe to it, having experienced the effect too many times for doubt. Pianist/composer Andy Milne understands the link, too. He might take his theorising into new-age zones that prickle my scepticism, but, hell, that doesn’t affect the music, which has spectacular breadth and genuinely uplifting power. His core sextet is joined by six guests: featured soloists on pieces specifically crafted with them in mind.
The results are so engrossing as to shift moods and molecules. They might not cure measles, but will certainly knock over a case of the blues. If you’re grumpy when you start listening, you will come out the other end with a smile, and probably with your hair standing on end. I just love Milne’s sense of colour combinations, such as Aaron Kruziki’s bass clarinet with Christopher Hoffman’s cello and his own piano in a passage of reflective chamber music. At the other end of the spectrum come blazing solos from guitarist Ben Monder and trumpeter Ralph Alessi, or rapping from John Moon, skimming across choppy waves created by bassist Christopher Tordini and drummer Kenny Grohowski.