James Muller album




Muller resJames Muller has a way of making a melody line dance, of making it twitch and contort. However fast the line the guitarist loads the phrasing with nuances of rhythm and also dynamics, so the notes jostle and collide as they come hurtling at you. Sometimes they cease to form a line so much as a labyrinth within which the melodies’ singing quality can still be discerned. At slower velocity the flaring beauty of his improvising is more easily assimilated, as is his capacity for adding grit; for forging the sorts of bent notes that might get one’s fingernails dirty.

This is not necessarily the strongest batch of compositions that Muller has released, but he and his colleagues certainly maximise the improvisational potential of each. The colleagues in question are bassist Desmond White and drummer Ben Vanderwal, with keyboard player Sean Wayland and bassist Alex Boneham appearing on a couple of tracks. The grooves, sometimes chunky and rockier, sometimes loose and skating, are ideal launch-pads for Muller’s flights, whether these are sweet or caked in something funkier.