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Marcus Miller and Mustapha Baqbou at Essaouira Festival 2014

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Marcus Miller and Mustapha Baqbou Place Moulay El Hassan Essaouira Festival Essaouira, Morocco June 14, 2014 On Saturday a rebirth was being prepared at Essaouira Festival. The most awaited artist of the festival, bassist/composer Marcus Miller was going to play with accomplished gnaoua vocalist and guembri player, Mustapha Baqbou. At the conference room, and on his birthday, Miller confessed that he felt not the least uncomfortable about this fusion. To this end, he explained that the slap sound that he once thought very peculiar to the bass and his own ingenious style, he actually ...

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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Marcus Miller: Renaissance

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Some things change, other things stay the same. Marcus Miller--producer and performer with everyone from soul singer Luther Vandross and pianist Herbie Hancock to guitarist George Benson and Miles Davis, composing and producing the trumpeter's late period classic Tutu (Warner Bros., 1986)--has been releasing solo albums since 1983, but it was with The Sun Don't Lie (PRA, 1993) and Tales (PRA, 1994) that the bassist/bass clarinetist established a modus operandi that has served him well in the ensuing decades. Renaissance fits comfortably within Miller's overall discography, with plenty of the cornerstones upon which he's built his audience, but there are ...

ARTIST PROFILES

Marcus Miller: Renaissance Man

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[Editor's Note: On Sunday, November 25, 2012, All About Jazz learned that Marcus Miller sustained non-life-threatening injuries during a bus crash on the A2 highway in central Switzerland. Unfortunately, the driver was killed in the accident. Online sources report that the bus was carrying 13 people, including two drivers and the 11 members Miller's band. The cause of the crash was not immediately known. AAJ sends condolences to the victim's family and loved ones, as well as healing thoughts for everyone involved in this horrible tragedy.]A renaissance can be defined as a reawakening, a rebirth, or a resurgence. ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Marcus Miller: A Night in Monte Carlo

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It's been more than four years since James Brown, the “hardest working man in show business," departed this Earth for an ethereal stage, time enough to anoint a successor. Bassist Marcus Miller deserves consideration--a tribute that would, no doubt, put a smile on the face of the Godfather of Soul. After all, a typical year for the virtuosic bassist includes months of global touring (he just returned from a tour that took him to five continents, featuring his unforgettable '80s Warner Bros. collaborations with trumpeter Miles Davis, 1985's Tutu and 1989's Amandla); recording with his own band or with SMV, ...

INTERVIEWS

Marcus Miller: The Perfect Balance

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Marcus Miller is a master musician of calm wisdom and impeccable taste, whose talent has been exposed to the elements under different kinds of light through the years, only to magnify the evident supremacy he so gently seems to hold over the bass guitar in recent years. As a multi-instrumentalist of deep musical curiosity, he has also placed a difficult instrument like the bass clarinet as one of his most distinctive trademarks. His recordings are always surprising, and his soul remains wide open and well centered: you must never sacrifice what you believe in. His musical joy is in what ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Marcus Miller: A Night in Monte-Carlo

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He's the man in the porkpie hat. Bassist, composer, arranger and producer Marcus Miller matches classical with jazz on A Night in Monte-Carlo, featuring L'Orchestre Philharmonique De Monte-Carlo. Miller, a two-time Grammy Award-winner, has a diverse and vast discography as a leader, producer and sideman. Among his numerous credits are work with Miles Davis, Luther Vandross, Donald Fagen, Dizzy Gillespie, David Sanborn, Bob James and Al Jarreau. The strings warm up the set, recorded during the 2008 Monte-Carlo Jazz Festival, in symphonic fashion, introducing Miles Davis' “So What." Miller and drummer Poogie Bell bring up the ...

INTERVIEWS

Marcus Miller: The Man of Many Hats

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Pictures of Marcus Miller often show him wearing what is almost a trademark porkpie hat. Truth is, the extraordinary musician wears many hats, some of them simultaneously.He's proven himself a master of the electric bass in any setting from jazz to pop to funk to R&B, always with a rich, soulful sound. He's also a stellar producer and arranger, having been involved in a variety of projects for stars and megastars including Miles Davis, Luther Vandross, Roberta Flack, Wayne Shorter, Al Jarreau, Kenny Garrett and many more. His composing skills have been on display through many of those ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Marcus Miller: The Ozell Tapes

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Marcus Miller is the Paul Chambers of the electric bass. His recordings possess the same bass- leadership as Mr. PC, reflecting the spirit in the title of one of Chambers’ 1950s Blue Note releases, Bass on Top. Miller mixes a potent brew of originals and modern jazz classics to produce a sumptuously funky meal of what is certainly not smooth jazz. To my conservative ears, Miller simply picked up where he left off with Miles on Tutu. He is most certainly a virtuoso, but not so troublesome as Jaco Pastorious. Miller is a traditionalist in that, like Jaco, he never ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Marcus Miller: M2 (M-Squared)

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For well over two decades, Marcus Miller has firmly established himself on the jazz/funk recording scene as funk bassist extraordinare and producer for the likes of Miles Davis, David Sanborn, and Chaka Khan. He’s also proficient on a wide variety of instruments, including bass clarinet, keyboards, saxophones, and vibraphone, and is a competent composer to boot. He’s been so in demand as a producer and performer for other people that he has recorded under his own name only sporadically.

All of his varied and considerable talents are on display on his latest release, M2 (M-squared) - also his debut for ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Marcus Miller: M2

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For his first studio album since 1964, Marcus Miller has laid out a program of nine originals and five jazz standards. Seeking to be the new Rahaan Roland Kirk, Miller plays a large number of instruments. I guess he plays them well because it's difficult to single out any through the electronic sheets of sounds being thrown at the listener. The album is promoted as having equal portions of jazz, funk and soul thus offering something for everyone. The fact is that the dominant genre is fusion or, if you will, crossover jazz with electronics the fuel that drives it ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Marcus Miller: M2

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Marcus Miller is one of those crossover artists whose influence is felt in numerous media, including movie sound tracks like Boomerang and Rush Hour. Lest we forget all of the innovations that Miller has created, his new M-Squared album enumerates in a soulful and electronically enhanced style the multitudinous elements that comprise his immediately identifiable sound.First and foremost is Miller's electric bass work, which obviously consists of more than time-keeping. As one of the most important contemporary bass leaders, not only is Miller building his own discography and production credits, but also he is growing his means of ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Marcus Miller: Live and More

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Contemporary session ace Mark Miller has been involved with some very high profile jazz folks over the past 20 years. Miles Davis utilized his talents to put a high gloss sheen on his fusion efforts of the late 80's. Surprisingly, Miller has released very few albums as a leader. Live and More treats his fans to 10 cuts of funky jazz/rock highlighted by Miller's slappin' bass lines. Two of the tracks were done in the studio with the remainder recorded on stage in Switzerland, Japan and the USA. Former Davis sideman Kenny Garrett is strong on alto and soprano sax, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Marcus Miller: Live and More

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There's no doubting Marcus Miller's “behind-the-scenes" role as the leading stylist in the commercial, contemporary jazz of the 80s and 90s. Behind his influential presence as both a bassist and producer trails an impressive resume of studio works, often perfected to a fault. Marcus Miller is the definition of success during the past decade of contemporary jazz. Miller's unique stamp and collaborations on the past decade's recordings by legends and stars range from Miles Davis, Wayne Shorter, The Crusaders, Aretha Franklin, David Sandborn and Luther Vandross, to an appearance by Michele Ndegeocello on his last studio project as a soloist, ...



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