Like Quincy Jones, Marcus Miller has the ability to bring together highly individual artists from several areas of music and somehow get them to fit comfortably in his projects. In addition, Miller can uplift what could be a simple funk piece and make it of interest to jazz listeners through his musicianship, creativity, and imagination. On Marcus, he uses different personnel and instrumentations on each selection, playing a bewildering assortment of instruments himself in addition to his distinctive electric bass. Some of the pieces, particularly ones that feature the singing of Lalah Hathaway and the Ivey Sisters, are essentially R&B although usually with a curve thrown in. Some selections have Miller heading what sounds like Miles Davis' last band (with Michael "Patches" Stewart in Miles' place), and there are features for his atmospheric bass clarinet playing. David Sanborn fares well during his two appearances, and Tom Scott stops by for a cameo, as does bluesman Keb' Mo', and one should not overlook the harmonica playing of Gregoire Maret. Listeners who enjoy creative funk will certainly enjoy this eclectic program. ~ Scott Yanow, Rovi
Track samples provided courtesy of iTunes
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