The cohesion of this quintet is remarkable. Everyone sounds great together.

April Records

David Miilman – Guitar; Buster Isitt – Guitar; Svend Feldbaek Winther – Keyboards; Elias HP – Bass; Theiss Nemborg – Drums

The David Miilman Group were not sure when they would be able to record their second album because of an ailing band member. Drummer Theiss Nemborg was not sure if he would be able to play again after being diagnosed with a life-altering illness. With the band’s support Nemborg did recover and WHAT’S LEFT was recorded.

The band has an interesting lineup. There are two guitars, keyboards, bass, and drums. David Miilman’s slide guitar dominates, but Buster Isitt’s guitar playing is a worthy foil. Miilman’s playing style and his tone remind me of Derek Trucks but there’s a lot more going on. Trucks plays the blues, and so does Miilman, but Miilman uses space more. He’s adept at Brazilian rhythms, and there’s an occasional nod to Pat Metheny.

Buster Isitt strums a recurring phrase on the title track, ‘What’s Left.’ Miilman answers with a slide guitar phrase of his own. Svend Feldbaek Winther’s piano echoes the phrase and adds a lovely solo. Tempo and dynamic changes abound.

‘Mujaffa’s ’is an ode to the band’s favorite shawarma cafe. Both guitars work on the rhythm and blues melody. Nemborg has a nice laidback drumbeat. Elias HP has an “oh-so-cool strolling down the street” bass groove.

‘Blues 11 ’has a pleasantly funky feel. Miilman starts out with a slow blues riff. There’s a syncopated walking bass line. There’s some soulful organ, and then the slide guitar starts to rip.

I like ‘Mind Like Water ’with Isitt’s guitar showing off a touch of Brazil throughout. This pairs beautifully with Miilman’s crystal clear resonant tone. There’s a standout melodic bass solo. The piano’s jazzy counterpoint is perfectly placed. Nemborg’s stick work and the occasional rimshot sound terrific. Miilman’s slide guitar could easily overpower, but he doesn’t let that happen. The cohesion of this quintet is remarkable. Everyone sounds great together.

There are several things I like about April Records, but what stands out is are how many talented young musicians there are. They don’t try to replicate what their musical predecessors did. They may borrow ideas, but they make the music their own. The David Miilman Group is a good example.