Home » Jazz Articles » Album Review » Marcus Miller: A Night in Monte-Carlo

209

Marcus Miller: A Night in Monte-Carlo

By

Sign in to view read count
Marcus Miller: A Night in Monte-Carlo
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 beat, signaling the rest of the orchestra to join in. Alto saxophonist Alex Han's solo—no pun intended—is one of the highlights. Hearing the full orchestra behind a funky jazz lead is a treat, as Miller delivers some of his signature slaps during his solo, supported mainly by Bell's rim shots.

Guitarist/vocalist Raul Midon sings lead on his own "State of Mind," a frenetic piece done without the orchestra. After his solo, trumpeter Roy Hargrove engages in a lively dialogue with Midon, trumpet and guitar shifting easily from harmonious duet to call-and-response, with Hargrove answering in scat-like fashion. Midon demonstrates range and precision, combining the skills of a jazz vocalist with those of an auctioneer.

A tranquil classical piece merges into a fiery Brazilian anthem with Miller accompanying the strings at the front end of Puccini's "O Mio Babbino Caro," with drums, percussion and brass signaling a quick segue into "Mas Que Nada." Voice and strings are in sync during the chorus but, underneath it all, Miller's bass line is hard-charging. Hargrove's solo morphs into a scat and guitar solo from Midon; the two then trading off, with Midon voice emulating a trumpet. Miller recaptures the energy and emotion first visited when he arranged and produced Jarreau's recording of "Mas Que Nada" in 1994, one of the more thrilling adaptations of the Jorge Ben classic.

Better-known as a bassist, Miller also plays bass clarinet on some of A Night in Monte-Carlo's tracks, while fellow Grammy winner Herbie Hancock sits in on the closing "Strange Fruit."

Track Listing

Blast!; So What; State of Mind; I Loves You Porgy; Amandla; I'm Glad There Is You; Medley: O Mio Babbino Caro / Mas Que Nada; Your Amazing Grace; Strange Fruit.

Personnel

Marcus Miller: bass, bass clarinet; Roy Hargrove: trumpet; Raul Midon: vocals, guitar; Alex Han: alto saxophone; DJ Logic: turntables; Federico Gonzalez Pena: piano, keyboards, percussion; Poogie Bell: drums; Herbie Hancock: piano (9); Orchestre Philharmonic De Monte-Carlo.

Album information

Title: A Night in Monte-Carlo | Year Released: 2011 | Record Label: Concord Music Group


< Previous
Spirals

Next >
Shadowless

Comments

Tags

Concerts

Jul 5 Fri
Jul 10 Wed
Jul 20 Sat
Jul 22 Mon
Jul 26 Fri

For the Love of Jazz
Get the Jazz Near You newsletter All About Jazz has been a pillar of jazz since 1995, championing it as an art form and, more importantly, supporting the musicians who create it. Our enduring commitment has made "AAJ" one of the most culturally important websites of its kind, read by hundreds of thousands of fans, musicians and industry figures every month.

You Can Help
To expand our coverage even further and develop new means to foster jazz discovery and connectivity we need your help. You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky ads plus provide access to future articles for a full year. This winning combination will vastly improve your AAJ experience and allow us to vigorously build on the pioneering work we first started in 1995. So enjoy an ad-free AAJ experience and help us remain a positive beacon for jazz by making a donation today.

More

In Situ
Alexa Torres
Just Found Joy
Ricky Alexander
Hittin' It
Mike Clement

Popular

Get more of a good thing!

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories, our special offers, and upcoming jazz events near you.