Marcus Miller

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

Life and work

Miller comes from a musical family. His father played piano and church organ; the jazz pianist Wynton Kelly is his uncle. Since the age of five he's deaf as a result of measles infection on his right ear. At the age of eight he was recorder, with ten years followed by the clarinet, which was his main instrument during high school. At this time he played in funk bands in the neighborhood bass guitar. On the Queens College, he studied music education. At sixteen, he was playing bass with Bobbi Humphrey and 1977 with Lenny White on tour. From 1978 he was a member of the band of Saturday Night Live.

Miller won recognition both as a solo artist and creator of numerous film scores as well as a music producer; particularly in demand he is as a studio and session musician. He can be heard on more than 500 recordings, including with Roberta Flack, Aretha Franklin, Luther Vandross, David Sanborn, Jean Michel Jarre (Album Zoolook ), Bobby McFerrin, and Al Jarreau. His breakthrough achieved with Miles Davis, in whose band he played from the beginning of the 1980s. Thereafter, he concentrated on his own band projects and collaboration with David Sanborn, before Miller at the invitation of Davis for these albums Tutu (1986) and Amandla (1988 /1989) produced; for the latter album, he wrote almost all the music. On the soundtrack album Siesta he is even called an equal footing with Davis on the cover; there he recorded almost all instruments and programmed the drum grooves. Reclam's Jazz Encyclopedia According to the he understands it there, " to use certain electronic sounds tasty, without that they act cool. He achieved particularly impressive moods as bass clarinetist. "

After the death of Davis, Miller focused on the work as a bandleader. With his album M ², he won a Grammy for Best Contemporary Jazz Album in 2002.

He has shaped the Slapstil on the electric bass. Slapping means striking the bass string with the thumb, which thereby creates a percussive sound. This technique is mostly used in combination with the so-called popping. Miller found that a percussive sound would achieve results during radio broadcasts of his game. In professional circles, his game is considered to be melodic and groovy and virtuosic speed and precision.

He is married to Brenda Miller and father of four children. His companions include musicians like Dean Brown, Poogie Bell and Omar Hakim. Together with bassist Stanley Clarke and Victor Wooten and other musicians to form the group SMV, with whom he toured in 2009.

The American guitar manufacturer Fender honored him with a bass guitar, the Marcus Miller Jazz Bass.

On November 25, 2012 crashed the tour bus by Marcus Miller and his band on the trip from Monte Carlo, Monaco, to Hengelo in the Netherlands. During an accident on the A2 motorway in Shatt village in the canton of Uri, Switzerland, the driver of the bus died. The twelve other persons on board, including Marcus Miller, were injured.

Discography (selection)

  • Lester Bowie: Serious Fun (1989 )
  • Miles Davis: The Man with the Horn ( 1981)
  • Miles Davis: We Want Miles (1982 )
  • Miles Davis: Star People (1983 )
  • Miles Davis: Tutu (1986 )
  • Miles Davis / Marcus Miller: Music from Siesta (1987 )
  • Miles Davis: Amandla (1989 )
  • Miles Davis: Live Around the World (1991 )
  • Jack DeJohnette / World Saxophone Quartet: Selim Sivad: A Tribute to Miles Davis ( 1998)
  • Wayne Shorter: High Life (1995 )
  • George Mraz: Bottom Lines ( 1997)
  • Boz Scaggs: Some Change ( 1994), Fade Into Light ( 1996), Here's the Low Down (1998)
  • Cassandra Wilson: Traveling Miles (1999)
  • SMV ( Stanley Clarke, Marcus Miller, Victor Wooten ): Thunder (2008)
  • George Benson: Songs and Stories ( 2009)

Filmography (selection)

Lexigraphic entries

  • Wolf Kampmann: Reclam Jazz Encyclopedia. Stuttgart 2003. ISBN 3-15-010528-5
  • Martin Kunzler: . Jazz Encyclopedia Vol 2 Reinbek 2002 ISBN 3-499-16513-9.