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Album Review

Marcus Miller: Afrodeezia

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Marcus Miller: Afrodeezia
Prominent bassist Marcus Miller's new album Afrodeezia (Blue Note Records) is inspired by his travels and impressions through West Africa, South America, the Caribbean along the Atlantic slave routes, and parts of the United States. The multi Grammy winner and UNESCO Artist for Peace pays homage to the African people forced into servitude and the enduring music they brought with them and to the world. The eleven track record features an extensive list of international and American artists including Alune Wade, Cherif Soumano, Keb' Mo', Lalah Hathaway and Chuck D. (Public Enemy).

Miller's Afrodeezia opens with "Hylife" complete with a strong sax solo from Alex Han. Its melodic jazzy horn flavor is reminiscent of King Sunny Ade, the well-known Grammy nominated Nigerian artist and early pioneer of world music.

As the spokesperson for UNESCO's Slave Route Project, Miller takes you on a musical journey that evokes joy, sadness and celebration. "B's River" has pulsating rhythms that captivate the spirit. The multi instrumentalist dedicates " We Were There" to the late music maestros George Duke and Joe Sample. They liked the swaying samba sound and were inspired by Brazil's rhythms. "Preacher's Kid" is lovingly devoted to his father, William H. Miller, an organist and choir director.

Among Afrodeezia 's many strong tracks is Whitfield/Strong's "Papa Was A Rolling Stone," with its unmistakable deep funk bass line propelled by Miller's vibrant and rugged style. The 1972 Grammy winning "Papa" was a massive hit for Motown's Temptations.

The strength and beauty of Miller's latest disc is its universal focus on the human capacity to overcome and accomplish wonderful things. According to Miller, during the period of forced slavery, ..."people could only hold onto their music in the rhythms. The rhythms had ..."the ability to transcend this difficult situation." On the closing track, "I Can't Breathe" the bassist brings attention to how far we collectively have to go before everyone can feel safe. Chuck D. provides serious vocals on this gritty song.

Marcus Miller's ambitious continent spanning Afrodeezia follows the Atlantic slave trade routes and celebrates the historical struggles and triumph of the African people and their descendents through the healing power of music. He affirms how vital the music and rhythms are in our lives and the global community.

Track Listing

Hylife, B’s River, Preacher’s Kid; We Were There; Papa Was A Rolling Stone; I Still Believe I Hear; Son Of Macbeth; Prism; Xtraordinary; Water Dancer; I Can’t Breathe

Personnel

Personnel: Marcus Miller, bass clarinet, piano, gimbri, Fender Rhodes; Louis Cato drums vocals; Lee Hogans trumpet; Brett Williams piano; Alex Han alto sax; Adam Agati guitar; Cory Henry, organ (2); Julia Sarr, Alune Wade, Alvin Chea choir vocals (2); Lalah Hathaway, vocals (1,2,3); Chuck D. vocals (11); Keb’ Mo' guitar (5); Wah Wah Watson guitar (5); Adama Bilorou Dembele percussion (1,10), Alune Wade vocals (1,3); Guimba Kouate acoustic guitar, background vocals (1,9); Cherif Soumano, background vocals, kora (1,2,9); Mocean Worker guitar, bass (11); Etienne Charles trumpet (2, 7); Robert Glasper Fender Rhodes (4); Aline Cabral, Andrea Dutra, Christiane Correa Tristao background vocals (4); Patrick Stewart trumpet (5); Cliff Barnes organ, piano (5,9); Munyungo Jackson percussion (5); Lamumba Henry percussion (6,9); Marco Lobo percussion(4) Robert Greenidge steel pans (6); Alvin Chea bass voice (9); Ambrose Akinmusire trumpet (10); Michael Doucet violin (10); Roddie Romero accordion (10);

Album information

Title: Afrodeezia | Year Released: 2015 | Record Label: Blue Note Records


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