October 2001

Duncan Millar
Good to Go
Instinct Records

Duncan Millar brings boundless energy and fleet fingerwork to his keyboards on the irresistibly high-spirited release Good to Go. Millar and his band convey adventure, elegance and optimism through a range of styles, from the sunny, freewheeling grooves and retro-string feel of "Go Fly Your Kite" to the brisk jam "Super-Real Feel," which with its funky piano and squealing trumpet exclamations falls somewhere between soul-jazz and acid jazz. The varied highlights here include the majestic "High Sierra," which soars on Damon Brown's flugelhorn and moves with a Latin determination; "The Groove," which offers a spindly workout for Millar, with some narrow, cool timing breaks; and "Sci-fi Hi," a bugged-out, souped-up groove tune with condensed, revolving effects whipping around Millar's otherworldly keyboard melody. A magic reminiscent of Steely Dan comes across in the keyboardist's lithe, feather-touch work on "Captain of Her Heart," setting up an awe-struck mood. Though the territory mined here is wide, in Millar's capable hands the mix makes perfect sense.

Originally published in October 2001
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