The Dave Milligan Trio, based in Scotland have been playing together for about ten years. Dynamic, engaging, humourous, dazzling, uplifting, the trio’s performances have consistently thrilled audiences and critics alike over the years.
All band leaders in their own right, Milligan, Bancroft & Lyne have developed an empathy that can only come from years of playing together. Critics have at times drawn comparisons to piano trios such as The Bad Plus, Brad Mehldau, E.S.T., Bobo Stenson and even Keith Jarrett, but always recognising the group’s strong, disinctive folk-tinged identity that sets them apart. The Dave Milligan Trio’s debut album Late Show has received rave press notices for its warm, soulfully melodic approach and collective understanding, and the group continues to develop as a very unique musical voice.
Dave Milligan, born and raised in the Scottish Borders, is a pianist whose musical imagination flows freely between jazz improvisation and the traditional airs and dance meters of his native Scotland. In a professional career spanning fifteen years, Dave has performed throughout Europe, USA, Canada, Australia and Asia. Many will know him from his earlier work in mainstream jazz with leading figures such as Carol Kidd, Scott Hamilton and Art Farmer, but in more recent years Dave has also become familiar to a new audience. His interest in traditional & folk music inspired a unique crossover piano style which has featured most prominently in the critically-acclaimed Bachué, with harpist and singer Corrina Hewat, in the duo with concertina virtuoso Simon Thoumire, as a core member of the Catriona Macdonald band, and in the 22-piece folk orchestra The Unusual Suspects, which he and Hewat masterminded. Folk music also has a strong presence in Milligan’s work in the jazz scene; mainly in the trio with bassist Tom Lyne and drummer Tom Bancroft, but also in his crucial role as pianist and arranger for award-winning trumpeter Colin Steele’s Quintet and 10-piece Stramash. The essence of Dave’s own music however, continues to be improvisation and a fascination for juxtaposing styles has earned him an enviable reputation as one of the UK’s most individual voices.
Originally from Edmonton, Canada, Tom Lyne moved to Europe after graduating from McGill University, Montreal with distinction on jazz bass. Tom is a passionate bassist with a very focused range of sensitivity and power, and his roots come out of rock and roll, rhythm and blues, and an early initiation into jazz and improvised music. With a vast range of playing experiences including world famous soul band Martha Reeves And The Vandellas, Californian guitar legend Charlie Hunter and traditional Shetland fiddler Catriona MacDonald, his musical heart lies mainly in the jazz idiom. He formed The Band Lyne in 2005 with keyboard player Chick Lyall, accordionist Martin Green and drummer Tom Bancroft to showcase his own compositions. Tom has toured all over Europe and spent many years living in Amsterdam while playing with the band Granny Smith in the 1990s. Now based in Scotland he is an established and much respected bass player with artists such as jazz/folk singer-songwriter Sophie Bancroft and guitarist Kevin MacKenzie. As well as his performance skills, he is highly sought-after as a music producer, mastering engineer, music arranger and jazz educator.
Tom Bancroft is a drummer, composer, bandleader and educator. He ran Caber Music, the Scottish Jazz Record label for 7 years, and now runs ABC Creative Music with his twin brother Phil. He trained as a medical doctor at Cambridge but now makes a living from playing, composing, and creating music education resources. He has played with many great musicians ranging from Sun Ra & Martyn Bennett to Geri Allen and Bill Wells. He is a co-leader of the bassless Trio AAB, and leads his own big band Orchestro Interrupto, children’s project Kidsamonium, and sextet the Tom Bancroft 6-pack as well as playing in several other long term projects including the Dave Milligan Trio. In 2004 he won the Creative Scotland Award and in 2007 he won the BBC Jazz Award for Innovation and a Herald Angel award for the performance of Kidsamonium in the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. In November Tom lead the Voice/Space/Body/Beat at the London Jazz Festival featuring 160 primary school children performing their own compositions and a massed drum choir featuring piper Finlay MacDonald and table virtuoso Manjiit Rasiya. Tom is an active teacher and educator - from private drum students to teaching composition and leading big bands.