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Marcus Miller

Primarily a bassist, multi-instrumentalist, and producer, Marcus Miller has worked on hundreds of sessions -- crossing jazz, R&B, and rock -- and has released several solo recordings since his late-'70s beginnings with Bobbi Humphrey and Lonnie Liston Smith. Despite the many hats he has worn -- improviser, interpreter, arranger, songwriter, film-music composer, bassist, clarinetist, saxophonist -- none of them have been put on for the sake of a whim. Never one to merely get his feet wet, Miller has been a utility player in the most extreme and prolific sense.

He was a fixture as a performer in New York's jazz clubs before he was old enough to drive. Born in Brooklyn on June 14, 1959, and raised in nearby Jamaica, he knew how to play several instruments with ease by the time he entered his teenage years. His father, who directed a choir and played organ, had a profound impact upon his musical upbringing. Once he broke in with Humphrey and Smith, he gained steady work with the likes of Dave Grusin, Earl Klugh, Grover Washington, Jr., Chaka Khan, and Bob James. During 1981 and 1982, the in-demand musician went on the road with longtime personal hero Miles Davis and would end up working with him on several albums -- including Tutu and Music from Siesta -- after that.

Throughout the '80s, '90s, and 2000s, Miller scattered several of his own albums throughout the constant pull of production and session work. His solo recordings were almost as diverse as his outside work; hybrids of smooth R&B, funk, and jazz peppered the majority of the albums, while 1993's The Sun Don't Lie and the following year's Tales (both issued through PRA) also incorporated sampling technology. 2001's M2 won a Grammy for Best Contemporary Jazz Album. 2003's The Ozell Tapes: The Official Bootleg, released on Telarc, displayed his range as well as anything else bearing his handiwork; the live set incorporated originals, improvisation, and covers that ranged from material originally recorded by Talking Heads and the Stylistics to John Coltrane. Silver Rain appeared in 2005. In 2007, Miller issued Free in Europe, while 2008 saw Marcus released globally; it was his debut for Concord Jazz. In 2009, Miller formed a touring band with Christian Scott on trumpet; they recorded Tutu Revisited, a wide-ranging tribute to Miles Davis, and it was released in Europe in 2011 as a CD/DVD package. Miller returned to the studio for 2012's Renaissance, an album which contained a vocal duet by Gretchen Parlato and Rubén Blades, as well as a guest spot by Dr. John.

Miller was selected as a UNESCO Artist for Peace and also became spokesperson for the organization’s Slave Route Project. Recording sessions took place in Africa, Europe, South America, the Caribbean, and the United States. The sessions featured a wide range of guests including Chuck D., Lalah Hathaway, Robert Glasper, Etienne Charles, Ambrose Akinmusire, Keb’ Mo’, Wah-Wah Watson, Mocean Worker, and Ben Hong. A pre-release single, "Hylife," was issued in February of 2015, and hit the top spot on several jazz charts. The album, Afrodeezia, followed in March. ~ Andy Kellman, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

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traynham999
He is too deep !
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My all time favorite smooth jazz bassist Mitchell Coleman Jr. is getting played on the radio all around the country! His new single “Flow” off of his debut solo album “Soul Searching” has jazz and blues fans going crazy. Right now Mitchell is #40 on Mediabase’s Smooth A/C chart, #24 on SmoothJazz.c o m s Radar Chart, and #1 at The Wave in Cleveland! http://bit.l y / i T u n e s - F l o w - M C J
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LOVE IT one of the greatest bassists of all time
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Very funky!!!!
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Yes he is a bad a** player. Love his style!!!!
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He is a master & exciting to hear
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lawmont
Yeah Marcus
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His collaboratio n through the years with MJ is outstanding!
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What he does to this bass guitar is unbelievable . Do your thang Mr. Miller.
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Not just a bass player,. his body of works put MM in a Upper class of producer, musician and writer, a true triple threat.
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Marcus is in a zone of his own. What a gift.
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Did we forget Mr. Miller also produced Aretha Franklin.
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No mention of his work with Luther Vandross?
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Man as a young kid i was listening to a David Sanborn album as i was reading the credits and found out it was put together by Marcus Miller blew me away.
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Saw him in person with the late George Duke. Loved them!
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djkillmer
Marcus, tasty!!
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polingkf
OMG... Bad A** Bass bro!
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gdaddy2323
Bass Master
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RsM commented. One of a kind bass player!
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Love all of MM's tracks! The album: the sun don't shine, has a lot of dept! Great producer, musician & artist! RsM
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A Funk Messiah
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now, THAT'S funky.
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M.M has been around and back well seasoned at a young age. He's the coldest!
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Marcus has a style of his own;one of the best! :)
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I was blessed to meet many amazing people when I worked at WRVR in NYC. Marcus will always be the person I am most proud to have known. Hearing Marcus play in small venues uptown gave us all a taste of the best. So much fun.
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To be such a great musician and still be one of the friendliest and coolest persons ever. I have been a fan since 79' A have over 200 of your recording. And every time it all sounds brand new. Incredible! To take 7 notes and mace such diverse music is truly a gift.
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biggtbird78
Playing bass and looking for a sound to inspire me got tastes of Marcus thanks.bro keep playing bass
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Your participatio n and writing with David Sanborn has had a serious impact of my saxophone playing. Thanks for all you have done for the music industry as a whole. All the best to you. Michael of Clayton, NC
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t_notes69
Don't read this because it actually works. You will be kissed on the nearest Friday by the love of your life. Tomorrow will be the best day of your life. However, if you don't post this you will die in 2 days. Now you started reading this so don't stop. This is so scary put this on at least 5 songs in the next 143 minutes. When done press f6and your lovers name will appear on the screen in big letters this is so scary because it works
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gardenofmone y
NO DENYING THIS BAD BASS PLAYING BROTHER. SASSY!
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I will see you in Huntington Beach , lthe cruise and in London. Love you much
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thumbs UP
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drychalk
Marcus I love your music. I'm waiting on the next album. Play on Marcus!
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True love music
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Marcus, Victor and Stanley are simply the best
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I have had the pleasure of knowing Marcus... He's a humble, talented, lovely man... in addition to being an amazing musician!!!
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Can I give a little double like .
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No one can really touch his music!. I loved David Sanborn and Miles Davis's last cycle without knowing the real reason why. It was Marcus Miller!
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elevator jazz to me is more artificial sounding though, with tons of synths. his music all live instruments. but you know what i'm saying. ha
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impecable tone, and slap technique. a style unique to him. one of the best bassists ever imo. some of his music is a bit elevator jazzy, but still epic
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Sorry that's Charles Mingus
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Thriller Miller is the Truth! I love this arrangement of Coltrane's classic. Keep on funkin!
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I got a chance to hear Marcus as a youngster when I was 8 years old on a Lenny White album my older brother Artie had bought home. It was following after a time when Alphonso Johnson, Anthony Jackson, Stanley Clarke, And Jaco Pastorious had taken the electric bass guitar to another place. And out of nowhere this teenage monster play's his fender jazz bass on Lenny White"s Steam lines, Ursula Dusiac, Future talk, Tom Brown, Brown Sugar and then his work"s with Miles. He was powerful then and grow
Report as inappropriate
I see how he can be like Jaco but Marcus has his own style too.
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I've heard Marcus play goodbye pork pie hat many times and his tone kills me every time. The mwah of the fret less bass and the Jaco esque phrasing. Unbelievable !
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Very true xerrus43 pound for pound Marcus stands as one of the top 5 overall bassists today. He can play, song, arrange, produce and that sound inspired many to approach Roger Sadowsky, a prominent guitar builder and Marcus's tech to say "I want the Marcus Miller sound". I had the pleasure of seeing him in NYC about 10 years ago and he blew me away.
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xerrus43
This one of the best bass players since Jaco P . (R I.P) it would be wonderful if the President would shiwcase him and others in this genre of music.
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cora i would have to agree with you. he is one of the best and deservedly is mentioned up there with some of the best (larry graham, bootsy collins, etc.).
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He will be in New York City on September 22nd!
Report as inappropriate
ratnow6
My Man...
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