The Push-Pull Quartet At the Stroke of Twelve

Son of scientists, brother of Mission of Burma's Roger Miller, Push-Pull's leader (saxophonist/composer Ben Miller) sure has some interesting influences to tap into. And his tunes reflect an idiosyncratic conception of form and time, breaking down into non-sequitur sections that show little concern with what precedes or follow. Curious, too, how Jersey City-based Miller, usually a proto-punk guitarist, has morphed into a saxist who leaves much of the improvising to what is actually guitarist Chris Welcome's group, with ever-inventive Shayna Dulberger on bass — a strong soloist and superb accompanist — and loose-limbed, listening John McLellan on drums. The tunes have an offbeat '60s vibe, at times reminiscent of Eric Dolphy or Ornette Coleman, but with long, slow tempo sections wherein Welcome, Dulberger and McLellan converse in a ruminative way, only to find themselves interrupted by yet another intriguing Miller line. This is solid music making. (Tigerasylum)