All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...


Marcus Miller: A Night in Monte-Carlo

Woodrow Wilkins By

Sign in to view read count
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.

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


Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read Lala Belu CD/LP/Track Review
Lala Belu
by Chris May
Published: March 23, 2018
Read All Melody CD/LP/Track Review
All Melody
by Phil Barnes
Published: March 23, 2018
Read The Future is Female CD/LP/Track Review
The Future is Female
by Paul Rauch
Published: March 23, 2018
Read Hunters & Scavengers CD/LP/Track Review
Hunters & Scavengers
by Mark Corroto
Published: March 23, 2018
Read Fill Up Your Lungs and Bellow CD/LP/Track Review
Fill Up Your Lungs and Bellow
by Tyran Grillo
Published: March 22, 2018
Read Transatlantic CD/LP/Track Review
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: March 22, 2018
Read "Der Verboten" CD/LP/Track Review Der Verboten
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 7, 2017
Read "Vol. 1 - This Is My Swamp" CD/LP/Track Review Vol. 1 - This Is My Swamp
by Paul Naser
Published: September 29, 2017
Read "Passin' Thru" CD/LP/Track Review Passin' Thru
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: July 12, 2017
Read "L.O.T.U.S." CD/LP/Track Review L.O.T.U.S.
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 21, 2017
Read "Tall Tales And Alibis" CD/LP/Track Review Tall Tales And Alibis
by Doug Collette
Published: March 11, 2018
Read "Alcanza" CD/LP/Track Review Alcanza
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: August 14, 2017