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 great conductors.

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 choice.





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Album Information

Title: A Night In Monte-Carlo
Artist: Marcus Miller Feat. Roy Hargrove & Raul Midón
Year: 2010
Length: 1:03:30
Genre: General Jazz
Label: Concord Records

01 Blast! [Live] [7:54]
02 So What [Live] [7:36]
03 State Of Mind [Live] [6:24]
04 I Loves You Porgy [Live] [7:03]
05 Amandla [Live] [8:36]
06 I'm Glad There Is You [Live] [6:00]
07 O Mio Baddino Caro/Mas Que Nada [Live] [7:12]
08 Your Amazing Grace [Live] [6:53]
09 Strange Fruit [5:52]

Musicians: Marcus Miller : Bass Guitar, Bass Clarinet Roy Hargrove : Trumpet Raul Midon : Vocals, Guitar Alex Han : Alto Saxophone DJ Logic : Turntables Federico Gonzalez Pena : Piano, Keyboards, Percussion Poogie Bell : Drums Herbie Hancock: Piano on “Strange Fruit”

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