MARCUS MILLER, A NIGHT IN MONTE-CARLO


An essential collaborator with Luther Vandross and Miles Davis, Marcus Miller is a smart and prodigious bassist whose magic fingers and production prowess have touched and improved projects by everyone from Jay-Z to Kathleen Battle. Miller deftly shifts between jazz and razzle-dazzle on “A Night In Monte-Carlo” (Concord Jazz), a juiced-up blend of poppin’ bass notes, turntable scratching, and star turns by singer Raul Midon and trumpeter Roy Hargrove. Oh, and he fronts this date with the grandiose L’Orchestre Philharmonique De Monte-Carlo. “Blast!” “I Loves You Porgy” and two Davis covers – “So What” and “Amandla” showcase Miller’s audacity and tasteful swagger, but when the level of musicianship is this good, you’ve got to give the guy his props. Notably, his “Amazing Grace,” played on bass clarinet with sweeping strings is effectively stirring while “Strange Fruit,” a duet between Herbie Hancock and Miller, seizes the senses with its immediacy and naked emotion. (9 tracks; 63:33 minutes)
   

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JAZZ IN SPACE: MARCUS MILLER, A NIGHT IN MONTE-CARLO

Saturday, January 29, 2011

MARCUS MILLER, A NIGHT IN MONTE-CARLO


An essential collaborator with Luther Vandross and Miles Davis, Marcus Miller is a smart and prodigious bassist whose magic fingers and production prowess have touched and improved projects by everyone from Jay-Z to Kathleen Battle. Miller deftly shifts between jazz and razzle-dazzle on “A Night In Monte-Carlo” (Concord Jazz), a juiced-up blend of poppin’ bass notes, turntable scratching, and star turns by singer Raul Midon and trumpeter Roy Hargrove. Oh, and he fronts this date with the grandiose L’Orchestre Philharmonique De Monte-Carlo. “Blast!” “I Loves You Porgy” and two Davis covers – “So What” and “Amandla” showcase Miller’s audacity and tasteful swagger, but when the level of musicianship is this good, you’ve got to give the guy his props. Notably, his “Amazing Grace,” played on bass clarinet with sweeping strings is effectively stirring while “Strange Fruit,” a duet between Herbie Hancock and Miller, seizes the senses with its immediacy and naked emotion. (9 tracks; 63:33 minutes)
   

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