Jazzitalia - Interview With Marcus Miller
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Interview With Marcus Miller
Blue Note – Friday October 27th, 2010
by: Eva Simontacchi

Fai click qui per leggere la versione in italiano

The innovative style that springs from a lucky combination of groove and amazing technical skills, has crowned Marcus Miller as one of the most reknown bass players in jazz, R&B and fusion, with an impressive list of credits and the victory of Grammy Awards as composer and producer as well. Bass Player Magazine has him in its list of the ten most influent jazz players of the 90s, and has named him the "Superman Of Soul". His very rich curriculum highlights much more than this, from the early experiences as a composer, arranger and producer, to the years of touring with the band of Miles Davis, to the attainment of the status of being a world superstar of fusion, soul-jazz and funk.

During the first set, Marcus Miller (bass and bass clarinet) and his band - Sean Jones (trumpet), Alex Han (sax), Federico Gonzales Pena (keyboards) and Louis Cato (drums) - performed some original pieces composed by Marcus Miller, and some of the "Tutu Revisited" Miles Davis project pieces: "Blast," "Splatch", "Amandla", "Jean Pierre Went Into Cherockee", an amazing "September" that merged into "In A Sentimental Mood" with the bass clarinet, "Aida" and "Tutu".
After a concert at the Blue Note in Milano that registered a total sold out for all the sets and for all the concert dates, in which the bass-player and multi-instrumentalist has given the audience strong emotions, his incomparable groove and his unmistakable sound, I meet Marcus Miller in the backstage of the Blue Note, and he very kindly replies to my questions.

This evening you played Miles Davis, apart from playing your own compositions. So this is the Miles Davis project you are presenting in this tour?

For the last year and a half we've been doing "Tutu Revisited" and we actually came here last year and did "Tutu Revisited" where we played all Miles songs. Since we've been here already with that, I've just opened it up a little bit. I did more some of my songs, and from "Tutu" I did just a bunch of things from Miles, because this is the last "Tutu Revisited" city, and then we're done. Then we'll do something different.

Were you saying before I started the interview that you have another record which maybe isn't in Italy yet?

I have a record, I think it is in Italy. It is called "A Night In Montecarlo". It's a record that we did live in Montecarlo featuring Han, trumpeter Roy Hargrove, scat and soul singer Raul Midón, and a symphony orchestra.

Yes, it is in Italy. I have it and it's beautiful.

But we're not doing that because I don't have the orchestra.

Do you have some new project in mind that you could talk about in an interview?

I'll talk about the Montecarlo album because we've been doing a few gigs. We did that in MoNaco with the Philarmonical Ochestra, and we did another one in Tokyo three weeks ago with the Tokyo N.H.K. Orchestra. It was very nice, you know. I'm just trying to do different things each time. Like I did Stanley Clarke and Victor Wooten, you know, the project with three bass players including myself, and then I did the Orchestra album, and then I'm doing Tutu Revisited, so I'm trying to do something new every time.

In fact this was the objective of my question…. If there's something round the corner that you're planning and we're not aware of yet…..

There's something else we're cooking up, but I can't talk about it yet. It's going to be a surprise!

When do you plan to come back to Italy? You spent various nights here for your concerts, and all the nights were fully booked. Every time you come your concerts are totally sold out.

I don't know. We might do some small gigs in the Summer, but maybe not, because I've been coming very consistently….

But you're always fully booked, so people really love to have you here!

Yes, and I want to keep it like that! Somebody said to me once: "How can I miss you if you never go away?" (he laughs)

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