Monte-Carlo, glittering metropolis in the Principality of Monaco, is
the center of European richness, elegance and laissez-faire. This
magical dream world is the exceptional location of the Monte-Carlo
Jazz Festival, an event of its own. The Monte-Carlo
Philharmonic Orchestra has a rich history of important premieres
and a reputation for continuing high quality under a succession of
On November 29, 2008 the miracle took place. Bass virtuoso Marcus
Miller performed with the Monacan orchestra an amazing night in the
Salle Garnier at the Monte-Carlo Opera House. “I was invited by
Jean-René Palacio, the Artistic Director for the principality of
Monaco to present some of my music with the orchestra on the French
Riviera,” Marcus recalls.
The event starts with Blast! The oriental flavored tune from
Miller's album Marcus is enriched with a mighty orchestral
sound. With his symphonic arrangement Marcus Miller opens the wide
world of the orient featuring the spectacular impression of another
culture. Marcus excels on his bass with breathtaking fingerings.
A new experience of Miles Davis’ So What from his
groundbreaking album Kind Of Blue is shining in a new light.
After the symphonic intro pianist Federico Gonzalez Pena, saxophonist
Alex Han and DJ Logic on turntables follow Marcus' journey into Miles
Davis' masterpiece of complex chord progression and improvisation.
A native of New Mexico, blind from birth, Raul Midón is one of the
hottest singers and guitarists in jazz. State Of Mind from his
debut album shows the great scale of expression of this blessed
musician. He mesmerizes the audience with his unique vocals, and
energetic guitar licks while simulating drums on the body of his
guitar and the sound of a trumpet with his lips
For his rendition of I Loves You Porgy from the Gershwin
opera Porgy & Bess Marcus Miller chooses the fretless bass to
articulate the emotion of this bittersweet song in concordance to Alex
Han's sax and the string environment of Monte-Carlo's orchestra. Miles
Davis' Amandla features jazz star trumpet player Roy Hargrove.
His stellar performance is very close to Davis' mastery. “Roy is one
of the baddest trumpet players out there,” Miller shares.
I'm Glad There Is You was recorded by Roy
Hargrove on his album Moment In Moment (2000), a smooth
rendition of Jimmy Dorsey hit from 1941. The warm Flugel horn superbly
fits the mellow mood. What starts as a sultry rendition of Giacomo
Puccini’s O mio babbino caro (Oh, my dear papa), a highlight
from his 1918 one-act opera Gianni Schicchi explodes after the intro
in an exuberance of Brazilian joie de vivre. Mas Que Nada, the
musical embodiment of the Brazilian Carnival performed by Roy
Hargrove, Raul Midón and Marcus Miller in an enthusing show.
Your Amazing Grace showcases Marcus Miller
on his second favorite instrument, the bass clarinet. David Sanborn
introduced Marcus to that Buffet bass clarinet that he's playing now.
It belonged to a musician in NYC and it was Sanborn who alerted Marcus
to buy that horn when the owner passed away. Raul Midón impressing
vocals let this song shine. The album is closed by Strange Fruit,
a piece Marcus recorded in his studio in Los Angeles. The song
was performed for the first time by Billie Holliday and condemned
American racism, particularly the lynching of African Americans.
Marcus' sorrowful bass clarinet is accompanied by music legend Herbie
Hancock on piano.
A Night In Monte-Carlo is an emotional Live
album of eminent quality, probably Marcus Miller's best work so far.
If you like live music with a great orchestra, this album is the first