Marcus Miller

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Marcus Miller live at the Leverkusen Jazz Days 2017
Marcus Miller (2009)

Marcus Miller (born June 14, 1959 in Brooklyn ) is an American musician (bass guitar, keyboard, guitar, saxophone, bass clarinet, composition) and is considered a style-defining electric bassist .

Live and act

Miller comes from a musical family. His father played the piano and church organ; the jazz pianist Wynton Kelly is his uncle. Miller has been deaf from a measles infection in his right ear since he was five. At the age of eight he learned the recorder, and at ten the clarinet followed, which was his main instrument during high school. At that time he played bass guitar in funk bands in the neighborhood. He studied music education at Queens College . At the age of 16 he went on tour as a bassist with Bobbi Humphrey and in 1977 with Lenny White . From 1978 he was a member of the band from Saturday Night Live .

Miller gained recognition both as a solo artist and creator of numerous film scores and as a music producer ; he is particularly in demand as a studio and session musician. He can be heard on over 500 recordings, including with Roberta Flack , Aretha Franklin , Luther Vandross , David Sanborn , Jean Michel Jarre (album Zoolook ), Bobby McFerrin and Al Jarreau . He achieved his breakthrough with Miles Davis , in whose band he played from the early 1980s. He then concentrated on his own band projects and working with David Sanborn, before Miller produced the albums Tutu (1986) and Amandla (1988/1989) for Davis at the invitation of Davis ; for the latter album he wrote almost all of the music. On the soundtrack album Siesta he is even mentioned on the cover as equal to Davis; there he played almost all the instruments and programmed the drum grooves. According to the Reclams Jazzlexikon , he knows how to “use tasteful electronic sounds without them appearing cool. He achieved particularly impressive moods as a bass clarinetist. "

After Davis passed away, Miller concentrated on working as a band leader. In 2002 he won a Grammy for Best Contemporary Jazz Album with his album .

He decisively shaped the slap style on the electric bass. Slapping means striking the bass string with your thumb, which creates a percussive sound. This technique is mostly used in combination with what is known as popping . Miller found that a percussive sound would perform better when broadcasting his game. In professional circles, his playing is considered melodic and groovy and of virtuoso speed and precision.

He is married to Brenda Miller and has four children. His companions include musicians such as Dean Brown , Poogie Bell and Omar Hakim . Together with the bassists Stanley Clarke and Victor Wooten and other musicians, he forms the group SMV, with which he also toured in 2009.

The American guitar manufacturer Fender dedicated an electric bass to him, the Marcus Miller Jazz Bass (see photo).

On November 25, 2012, he drove with his band from Monte Carlo , Monaco , to Hengelo in the Netherlands. In an accident on the A2 motorway in Schattdorf in the canton of Uri , Switzerland, the bus driver died and the twelve other people on board, including Marcus Miller, were injured.

Discography (selection)

under his own name

  • 1983: Suddenly
  • 1984: Marcus Miller
  • 1993: The Sun Don't Lie
  • 1995: Tales (DE: Gold in the Jazz Award)
  • 1998: Live And More (DE: Gold in the Jazz Award)
  • 2001: (DE: Platinum in the Jazz Award)
  • 2002: The Ozell Tapes - Official Bootleg (Live)
  • 2004: Panther Live
  • 2005: Silver Rain (DE: Gold in the Jazz Award)
  • 2007: Free
  • 2008: Marcus
  • 2010: A Night in Monte-Carlo
  • 2012: Renaissance
  • 2015: Afrodeezia
  • 2018: Laid Black

for other artists

Filmography (selection)

Lexigraphic entries

Web links

Commons : Marcus Miller  - Album with pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Canton Uri, police report from November 25, 2012 Retrieved on November 25, 2012
  2. Gold / platinum database of the Federal Association of the Music Industry, accessed June 11, 2016