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Present Tense by Dave Milne

Dave Milne has an incredible story about how he practically willed himself back to good health from a debilitating illness to place himself back on the music scene. As one Portland Tribune writer said of him, "Sometimes there’s no escaping your destiny no matter how much it seems like fate is trying to steer you toward another course." Well, actually and obviously, there’s no escaping your destiny under any circumstances. Milne was most fortunate and blessed to have his destiny steer him back to the music sphere. I definitely wish him continued success.

Now to the album. There was talk in the promo materials of soul/funk jazz, but I was a bit hard-pressed to find an abundance of that element. Of course, there was also talk of jazz fusion and there seems to be plenty of that. There’s even more than a hint of straight-ahead jazz. Milne is quite decent as a saxophonist, but much of the material left me wanting. The hooks and melodies were not very exciting. I think that’s what this album lacks in a word: Excitement.

Having said that, the album is not without merit. While I may not be a huge fan of this particular material, there’s no mistaking the amount of effort and energy put forth here. Also, there are select tunes like "Ain’t That Bad," "Nu Funk," "Afro Blue"and all of the "interludes" that are pretty impressive. I honestly believe that working with more of the right material, or, I should say, material that’s right for me, Milne could easily appeal to my discriminating ears. Still, I’d encourage you to try this one on for size. It just may fit.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Dave Milne
  • CD Title: Present Tense
  • Genre: Fusion
  • Year Released: 2007
  • Record Label: Soul Tree Records
  • Rating: Two Stars
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