Marcus Miller – Jazz Bass Master Class

Although I generally gravitate towards rock, I also appreciate some good jazz, so I tried out a ‘new jazz’ play list to see what popped up. It was all good stuff, with a mix of sax, piano, a little trumpet and some strong vocals. Then, out of nowhere, another instrument jumped out. One of those instruments that you don’t typically think of as a lead jazz sound, but it worked and it worked well. The Bass.

And behind that bass was a guy who I had never heard of, but seems to be one of the more prolific bass players of the last few decades – Marcus Miller. Once you get past the feeling that you are listening to an extended version of the Seinfeld soundtrack, this guy will really grab your attention.

A quick google search told me that Marcus Miller is one of the more accomplished session musicians of the last 30 years, playing with legendary artists such as Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock, Michael Jackson and Frank Sinatra, to name but a few. He has two armfuls of Grammy Awards to his name and he has released well over 15 solo albums over the course of his career, as well as featuring on over 500 albums with other artists. That is plenty of material to dig into.

After noticing him on this particular playlist list, I tuned into his own spotify station and realized that his range is wide. Yes, he fits perfectly into a jazz playlist, but he also brings out funk, soul, RnB, soft rock and good old easy listening. This is great to have on as background music with the occasional song really popping through the speakers.

The song that initially caught my ear was ‘Trip Trap’ which has an immediately catchy, funky lead baseline. ‘Blast’ has a strong Indian/Bangra influence, as does ‘Pluck’, with funky citars playing in the forefront – both of which are very ear catching. ‘For The Love Of Freedom’ is a piano heavy classic jazz style track that will immediately transport you to an old school, smoky jazz bar. And if you ever watched the 80’s movie “Romancing The Stone”, the track ‘Sublimity “Bunny’s Dream”’ could have been lifted straight out of the soundtrack.

This is an artist that I feel like I should have known about for years, but it took a Spotify play list for me to find him. Check out Marcus Miller – this is how jazz bass should be played.

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Artists need to make a living – use this link to iTunes and download a Marcus Miller album 

Click here to find Marcus Miller on Spotify 

 

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Luca Sestak