StLJN Saturday Video Showcase: Marcus Miller's Afrodeezia


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This week, we're spending a little screen time with the multi-talented Marcus Miller, who's coming to St. Louis to perform Tuesday, June 16 through Thursday, June 18 at Jazz at the Bistro.

Miller, generally regarded as one of the top electric bassists in jazz, hasn't played here that often as a bandleader—he previously performed at the Bistro in September 2012 - but local music fans certainly know his work, thanks in no small part to his credits as producer and composer on significant recordings by hometown jazz heroes Miles Davis and David Sanborn.

Of course, Miller is known just about everywhere for his work with a host of other major jazz, funk and R&B artists, which includes playing, writing and/or producing with Bob James, Herbie Hancock, Luther Vandross, Wayne Shorter, Chaka Khan, and many others. He's also done film scores, and had a hand a few pop hits for Vandross, Khan, and, perhaps most infamously, the go-go band E.U., for whom Miller wrote the distinctively funky number “Da Butt."

Miller and Sanborn recently reunited in the studio for the first time in 15 years to record the saxophonist's latest album, and the ever-prolific Miller also has a new recording of his own out this year. Afrodeezia was released in March as his debut for Blue Note, and today we've got some videos featuring some of the music from that album.

The first video up top is the performance part of a promotional film Miller recorded recently for the bass string-maker Dunlop, and features the tunes “Hylife" and “B's River" from Afrodeezia.

After the jump, there's a brief promotional trailer, with Miller talking about the album plus some brief snippets of music, followed by a full version of “Son Of Macbeth," also from Afrodeezia.

Next up is a full live set recorded in April of this year at the Olympia in Paris, featuring Miller and an expanded version of his band performing most of the material from the album. (The video was shot from the audience, resulting in some of the usual compromises to visual quality, but the audio is good and being able to see an entire set definitely gives a better sense of the overall flow.)

The final two videos today are full shows recorded since Miller was last here in St. Louis, but before the release of Afrodeezia. Both shows feature some of Miller's better-known tunes, but in different musical settings - first with his regular band in March 2013 at the Jakarta International Java Jazz Festival, and then with the Metropole Orkest during the Edison Jazz/World Awards 2013 Gala at the Frits Philips Music Centre in Eindhoven, The Netherlands.

For more about Afrodeezia and Marcus Miller, check out this interview he did a couple of weeks ago on The Tavis Smiley Show.

You can see the rest of today's videos after the jump...

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This story appears courtesy of St. Louis Jazz Notes by Dean Minderman.
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