"As a bass player, you have to make the rest of the musicians feel good. Your job is to hold stuff together - keep the party going." - Marcus Miller
Marcus Miller is a guy you want at your party. For decades a top-call session musician, his genre-hopping bass can be heard on more than 500 albums by artists ranging from Herbie Hancock to Donald Fagan and Aretha Franklin to Beyoncé. As a solo artist and bandleader, he innovated lead bass songwriting and slap technique with a thumping fusion of jazz, funk and soul - plus mind-blowing technical skill. And most notable, while still is his 20's, he composed, produced and arranged Miles Davis' ground-breaking album Tutu, which won two Grammy Awards and is considered one of Davis' best works.
Growing up in Jamaica, Queens, in a musical family (his cousin was legendary pianist Wynton Kelly), Miller was classically trained as a clarinetist before switching to bass. The neighborhood was a hotbed for musicians who gigged in nearby NYC, so he had many friends and mentors. "The guys told me, 'You're not complete unless you're doing it all,'" Miller says, "arranging, composing and leading the band."
On Laid Black, Miller's 13th studio album, we get to feast the fruits of his dedication to craft and composition. He wrote 8 of the funky, bass-forward songs and contributed keyboards, percussion, vocals, and bass clarinet to the smooth production. Along with his tight band of players, you'll hear guest appearances by Trombone Shorty, Jonathan Butler, Kirk Whalum and Take 6. The connecting beat celebrates Miller's musical history - blending '70s funk and jazz with urban soul and modern-day trap and hip-hop. It's a calm but powerful ride guided by a virtuoso host. Warm sounds for cool days. A party you don't want to miss.