Marcus Miller – A Night In Monte-Carlo (2011/2017)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 01:03:30 minutes | 1,25 GB | Genre: Jazz, Funk
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: Qobuz | Front Cover | © Dreyfus Jazz
A two-time GRAMMY Award winner, bassist, producer, composer, and all-around musician Marcus Miller has been a student and a leader, a creator and an interpreter, a master and a mentor in the art form of music – from his teen years to the present – with many more miles to go before he sleeps…a profound past paving the way to an as yet unfathomable future. Marcus continues this legacy with A Night in Monte-Carlo, a live audio document of an amazing concert he was commissioned to perform on November 29, 2008 in the “rich man’s playground” of Monaco – a performance of music of his choice, much of it from his pen, featuring his arrangements for symphony orchestra. It features Marcus leading both his quartet and the Monte-Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra, with special guests: trumpeter Roy Hargrove as well as singer, songwriter and guitarist Raul Midón.
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. Nonetheless, Miller is quite capable of playing jazz when he wants to, and jazz is the main ingredient on A Night in Monte Carlo. Documenting a November 29, 2008 appearance in Monte Carlo, Monaco, this 63-minute CD unites Miller with the Monte Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra as well as with trumpeter/flügelhornist Roy Hargrove. Occasionally, A Night in Monte Carlo steps outside of jazz; “State of Mind” and “Your Amazing Grace” (both of which feature singer Raúl Midón) are essentially vocal R&B. But instrumental jazz of the electric fusion variety dominates this concert, and the fact that Miller is operating in a very orchestral environment doesn’t mean that there isn’t room for stretching and improvising on memorable performances of Davis’ “So What,” George Gershwin’s “I Loves You, Porgy,” Jimmy Dorsey’s “I’m Glad There Is You” and Amandla’s title track. Some of those tunes have been beaten to death over the years, but not by fusion artists, and Miller manages to keep things intriguing even on some extremely familiar warhorses. A Night in Monte Carlo is not recommended to jazz purists; this is mainly jazz, but it’s jazz with rock, funk, and hip-hop elements. Fusion lovers, however, will be delighted to hear Miller in this electric jazz-oriented environment. ~ Alex Henderson
01 – Blast!
02 – So What
03 – State of Mind (feat. Raúl Midón)
04 – I Loves You Porgy
05 – Amandla (feat. Roy Hargrove)
06 – I’m Glad There Is You (feat. Roy Hargrove)
07 – Medley: O Mio Babbino Caro / Mas Que Nada (feat. Raúl Midón & Roy Hargrove)
08 – Your Amazing Grace (feat. Roy Hargrove & Raul Midón)
09 – Strange Fruit
Recorded Live from the Monte-Carlo Jazz Festival on November 29, 2008.
Orchestre Philharmonique De Monte-Carlo – Conducted by Damon Gupton.