The icon of bass, Marcus Miller is the most in-demand and popular bass player worldwide. The list of musicians who want to play with him, is not graspable. Nor can you count the albums on which he sounds his significant bass. A new album of this legend is always a highlight of the year.

Marcus does not have to decorate his album with top names. He performs with trumpeters Sean Jones and Maurice Brown, alto saxophonist Alex Han, drummer Louis Cato, guitarists Adam Agati and Adam Rogers, and keyboardist Kris Bowers along with veteran keys wizards Federico Gonzalez Peña and Bobby Sparks.

Marcus explains the title of his album: "I feel like a page is turning. The last of our heroes are checking out and we are truly entering a new era. Politically, things have polarized and are coming to a head. Musically, we’ve got all these cool ways to play and share music – MP3 files, internet radio and satellite radio – but the music is not as revolutionary as the media. It’s time for a rebirth."

Marcus gets into the album with the accentuated Detroit. The full sound of rumbling bass jumps literally into the face, takes you on a wild journey. Even the saxophonist Han can hardly follow this natural phenomenon and requires only chords.

On the song Redemption Marcus is holding back for the younger brass players and performs only the bass line. His bass solo is just a short swelling, which in favor of the jazzy motif takes back quickly. On February Marcus catches the dreariness of the winter month without boring the song. Oriental flow swings easily into the song.

Slippin' Into Darkness is plotting the rhythm, a bit of Eric Burden's War enriched with a sprinkle of Shaft. But then Marcus' bass gallops off to a showpiece. Quincy Jones' century work Back On The Block is a treasure trove for every musician. Marcus shows us that one can still improve Ivan Lins’ Setembro. His fretless bass fits perfectly into the mood of the song. Rubén Blades' ‘Con amor todo se puede’ and Gretchen Parlato's chant adds the typical Brazilian flavor.

On Jekyll & Hyde Miller reveals his affinity for rock. This piece is carved in stone. In contrast follows the dreamy interlude Nocturnal Mist. A transition to the song Revelation. A gloomy, massive piece of jazz. Lovers of brass music will really get their money with Mr. Clean. As an extra Marcus delivers his powerful slap bass. Gorée (Go-ray) is a small island in Sénégal used by Portuguese for their slave trade. Marcus creates on bass clarinet a sorrowful mood in memory of the suffering of the slaves.

Cee-Tee-Eye is Miller's tribute to the legendary record company CTI. Outstanding is Maurice Brown's trumpet solo following the path of Freddie Hubbard. Miller also likes to perform young music styles like on Tightrope, a song by American singer Janelle Monáe. The vocal part is brilliantly set in scene by Dr. John. On the final I'll Be There, a rendition of the Jackson 5's mega hit, Marcus lets his bass shine again, sonorous and melodious.

Renaissance showcases Miller's maturity, his independence and exposed player personality. Miller doesn't glance at the audience's favor. The audience has to accept his genius.






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Album Information

Title: Renaissance
Artist: Marcus Miller
Year: 2012
Length: 1:12:37
Genre: Jazz
Label: Concord Music Group


01 Detroit [5:46]
02 Redemption [6:10]
03 February [4:15]
04 Slippin' Into Darkness [9:17]
05 Setembro (Brazilian Wedding Song) / Marcus Miller Feat. Gretchen Parlato & Rubén Blades [6:39]
06 Jekyll & Hyde [6:31]
07 Interlude: Nocturnal Mist [1:16]
08 Revelation [4:47]
09 Mr. Clean [5:01]
10 Gorée (Go-ray) [5:39]
11 Cee-Tee-Eye [7:40]
12 Tightrope / Marcus Miller Feat. Dr. John [5:47]
13 I'll Be There [3:48]


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