Harry Miller Music and Inner Ear Records

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Performance Reviews

CLIFTON ARTS CENTER

(Clifton, New Jersey - March 2002)

(to see photos from this concert click here Clifton concert photos)

'Beautiful jazz' mellows mood of Clifton crowd

Paterson musician gives audience taste of album

Harry Miller, a Paterson resident who composes, produces and performs jazz, recently noticed a sign for beauty supplies in dowtown Paterson. The sign struck a chord in his head, as many other objects and ideas have before.

"That's what I want to give to people, beautiful jazz," Miller said.

On Saturday, Miller and two fellow musicians, members of Harry Miller and the Satisfied Souls, provided the city with a taste of their upcoming CD, tentatively titled "Jazz Beauty Supply".

With the sun setting outside, Miller (on keyboards), Fima Ephron (on bass) and Joe Foster (on drums) performed soft, meandering tunes and buoyant pieces inside the Clifton Arts Center, a cultural center on the grounds of the city's municipal complex.

The group played for an hour as audience members nodded their heads and tapped their feet.

A song called "One Last Call" lent a melancholic feel to the room. The quiet, slow piece was composed in the wake of Sept. 11, Miller said.

"When I wrote it I was thinking about the people in the World Trade Center and on those planes making calls on their cell phones to their loved ones, knowing their demise was near", he said. "I wanted to somehow get across in musical terms that feeling of love contained in those last calls".

The trio - missing saxophonist Steve Slagle who was out sick - also performed upbeat compositions, including one that spotlighted Foster's drumwork. Audience members burst into applause as Foster culminated an energetic solo performance.

All three musicians have performed in the area before, and also with well-known musicians.

Ephron has played with artists the likes of Natalie Merchant, Lost Tribe, and John Zorn, and he recently recorded an album, "Soul Machine". Miller has recorded three albums, one from a live performance at the Paterson Museum.

With Slagle, they plan to record "Jazz Beauty Supply" this Friday.

Their performance on Saturday was the first time they had played all of the album's songs together as a group, Miller said. They finished the lineup with a song entitled "Miller's DeLight", ending with Miller saying a simple "yeah"!

Barbara Flexner, director of the Clifton Arts Center, said musicians such as Miller and his group lend a unique perspective to the center.

"It works two ways," Flexner said. "We want to attract a diverse audience while also supporting musicians from the area."

Clifton resident Elaine Hayes said she has not traditionally been a fan of jazz music, choosing instead to listen to classical tunes. Yet she was fond of Saturday's performance.

"I love classical music but I really enjoyed this," she said. "It's a shame in a city this big that more people don't come out for these things. It's wonderful."

The Clifton Arts Center offers a concert series throughout the year. For more information call (973)-472-5499.

For more information about Harry Miller, go to www.harrymillermusic.com, or for Fima Ephron log on to www.fimaephron.com

Article by Caryn Meyers, Herald News (3/17/02)

ST. PAUL'S CHURCH

(Paterson, New Jersey - April 2001)

(excerpt):

"In the yellow glow of the sanctuary in St. Paul's Episcopal Church on Sunday, Harry Miller and the Satisfied Souls played jazz, their music soaking the space, spilling from the open doors and splashing the hot Broadway sidewalk outside. 'Music has the power to uplift' said Harry Miller, pianist and composer for the group. 'There are many spiritual traditions that honor sound as a form of God'. And so it was a divine meeting of jazz and church, one that organizers of the St. Paul's Jazz Initiative hope to build on as they promote jazz in Paterson....."

Article by Sarah Kanter, photographs by Norm Sutaria, North Jersey Herald News (4/23/01)

image of North Jersey Herald masthead
newspaper clipping with photo of Jody Espina newspaper clipping with photo of audience members and Jody Espina and Harry Miller

(more photos from this concert coming soon to the "photos" pages of this website)

"DILAPIDATING"

(Philadelphia - September 2000)

"Dilapidating" was an experimental theatre piece produced by Griftheater from Amsterdam, Holland, in collaboration with the Philadelphia Fringe Festival 2000. Staged at "Shirley's" warehouse in Old City, Philadelphia, with music by cellist Paul Stouthammer and keyboardist Harry Miller. Here's what the critics had to say about it:

"...an unqualified success. By concentrating on theme rather than exposition, 'Dilapidating' removes the usual need to explain, which paradoxically disrupts the lines of communication between performer and audience. The result is an increased intimacy between audience, space and performers...using music by Paul Stouthammer (cello) and Harry Miller (synthesizers) to both support and contrast the action, 'Dilapidating' is a swirl of rhythmic articulation, plunging us ever deeper into this oddly familiar world."

J. Cooper Robb, Philadelphia Weekly (9/13/00)

"The group had only 3-1/2 weeks to invent 'Dilapidating'...it's a tribute to their talents that they were able to make something so compelling. Lean on text, "Dilapidating" has the feeling of an improvisation, yet it's performed with admirable precision"

Eils Lotozo, The Philadelphia Inquirer (9/12/00)

photo of the Shirley Building photo of the Shirley Building with billboard
The "Shirley" Building - an unlikely spot for a theater performance; then again, this was no ordinary theatre performance

(photos by Harry Miller 9/00)