Bassist/composer Marcus Miller has signed to Universal Jazz & Classics in France and will make his debut for Blue Note Records next month with the release of his new album Afrodeezia, which will be available March 16 in Europe and March 17 in the U.S. The album’s lead single “Hylife” is available today across all digital retailers and streaming services. Miller has also announced select shows around the album’s March release in Chicago, Washington DC, New York and Los Angeles, with further tour dates to be announced shortly.
Marcus Miller (born William Henry Marcus Miller, Jr.; June 14, 1959) is an American jazz composer, producer and multi-instrumentalist, best known as a bass guitarist. Throughout his career, Miller worked with trumpeter Miles Davis, pianist Herbie Hancock, singer Luther Vandross, and saxophonist David Sanborn, as well as maintaining a successful solo career. Miller is classically trained as a clarinetist and also plays keyboards, saxophone and guitar.
Marcus Miller has served as bassist, arranger, and producer for everyone from Luther Vandross to Miles Davis, and on his fourth solo album, Tales, Miller tries to reconnect the fractured fragments of African American music. He uses samples of recorded interviews with his older musical heroes to set up his own instrumental interpretations of that musical history. For example, spoken-word samples from Davis, Charlie Parker, and Billie Holiday lead into "The Blues," a midtempo blues groove that features both live drums and programmed drums, both jazzy horn lines from saxophonist Kenny Garrett and Larry Graham-like funk lines from Miller himself. The result is not jazz but R&B instrumentals with the sort of smarts and drama this genre rarely delivers anymore.
Had Marcus Miller chosen a more fusion-centric path, it's quite possible that he would have become as iconic among fusion heads as Jaco Pastorius or Miroslav Vitous. Miller certainly knows his way around his electric bass, and he probably would have been a great addition to Return to Forever if Stanley Clarke had been unavailable for their 2008 reunion tour and Chick Corea had offered him the gig. But that is speculation, of course. What we can say with certainty is that being hell-bent for fusion is not the path chosen by the highly eclectic, broad-minded Miller, who is as well known for his work with Luther Vandross and for co-writing E.U.'s 1988 funk/go-go hit "Da Butt" as he is for the composing, producing, and playing he did on Miles Davis' Tutu and Amandla albums in the ‘80s.
An album entitled Renaissance is long overdue for the widely acclaimed Renaissance Man Marcus Miller. In among the most enviable careers in music, Miller is a two-time Grammy-winner and the composer/producer of ten critically acclaimed and genre-defying albums (seven studio and three live). Even the most devoted follower may be astonished to realise that Renaissance is only his eighth studio project since his 1983 debut, Suddenly, considering the abundance of occasions Miller's name has appeared within album credits and that he has dazzled with performances, compositions and productions in the company of some of the world s most respected and accomplished players and superstars - from the mid-'70s to the present.
Bass great Marcus Miller brings the influence of modern urban music to his trademark sound on his genre-defying album Laid Black on Blue Note Records. It’s been three years since Miller’s last album, Afrodeezia.