Guitarist Dominic Miller is anything but unknown; even people who wouldn’t recognize him by name will most likely have heard him play already. For the list of those who have employed his intriguing skills is long, containing more than just a few heavyweights from the high ranks of the international music scene.
Dominic Miller was born in 1960 in Buenos Aires, Argentinia; it was only in 1970 that his family moved to Racine, Wisconsin, in the United States. At the age of 15 he started to learn guitar; later he studied with Sabastio Tapajos and at London’s Guildhall School of Music where his contemporaries included violinist Nigel Kennedy and Mike Lindup (Level 42). The ‚rather dry‘ dealings with the emotional topic of music at the latter institution eventually chagrined Miller enough to have him discontinue his tuition there and instead try his luck as a session musician, trying to make a living of it.
Must have gone none too bad, since he rather quickly built himself a reputation. In 1989 Miller met Producer Hugh Padgham for the first time – a seminal encounter, as is now obvious, since it lead not only to Miller’s appearance on Phil Collins‘ blockbuster album „But Seriously“ soon afterwards, but also to his playing on Sting’s „The Soul Cages“ which came out in 1991. Ever since, Dominic Miller has been a member of Sting’s working band, having played on each CD and every tour to date; Sting himself describes him as being „my right hand and my left hand“. Not a small compliment.
And even though one could well consider that to be a full time occupation, Dominic Miller is one of the most sought after session guitarists of our time, employed by many of his musical colleagues. An enormous number of recordings features his handywork, including productions by famous acts like e.g. Level 42, Mark Hollis (Talk Talk), Julia Fordham, Paul Young, The Pretenders, Manu Katché, World Party, Chuck Loeb, Manu Dibango, Vinnie Colaiuta, The Chieftains, Tina Turner, Backstreet Boys, Khadja Nin, Youssou N’Dour, Marc Lavoine, Ronan Keating, Gabin Dabiré, Steve Winwood, Sheryl Crow, Peter Gabriel, Rick Wright, Rod Stewart, Luciano Pavarotti, a.m.o.
On top of that, Miller maintained an ‚occasional band‘ called „The Tweeters“ with fellow session legends bassist Pino Palladino and drummer Manu Katché. „It’s a terrible name“, he admits amusedly, „but that was the best we could come up with.“ May be true for the name, but certainly not for the music of the trio.
Still not all. Miller isn’t idle as a solo musician as well: 1995 saw his personal debut „First Touch“, in 1999 „Second Nature“ followed, then „New Dawn“ (with Neil Stacey) in 2002, and „Shapes“ in 2003 (2004 in Germany), an album with new interpretations of renowned classical works of composers like Bach, Beethoven, Elgar and Albinoni. In February 2004 „Third World“ ensued – a production of soft tones, which enlarged Miller’s wordwide fan base even further. His gentle playing did and does inspire terms like ‚grace‘, ‚amenity‘ and ’sensuousness‘, taking the listener away to places that are so much more inviting than the present here and now usually can muster.
Miller is a guitar player of the utmost proficiency, that needs no further emphasis. So he doesn’t emphasize it. He just plays. With an air of ease and aptitude that defies description. What elevates him above and beyond his incredible skillfulness is his ability to transcend it to a point where only beauty remains. To captivate you. Whenever you listen to t/his music.