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Marcus Miller (born William Henry Marcus Miller Jr., June 14, 1959) is an American jazz composer, producer and multi-instrumentalist, best known as a bass guitarist. Throughout his career, Miller worked with trumpeter Miles Davis, pianist Herbie Hancock, singer Luther Vandross, and saxophonist David Sanborn, as well as maintaining a successful solo career. Miller is classically trained as a clarinetist and also plays keyboards, saxophone and guitar.
Miller was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1959 and raised in a musical family that includes his father, William Miller (a church organist and choir director) and jazz pianist Wynton Kelly. By 13, Marcus was proficient on clarinet, piano and bass guitar, and already writing songs. Two years later he was working regularly in New York City, eventually playing bass and writing music for jazz flautist Bobbi Humphrey and keyboardist Lonnie Liston Smith. Miller soon became a first call session musician, gracing well over 500 albums, a short list of which includes Michael Jackson, Herbie Hancock, Mariah Carey, Wayne Shorter, McCoy Tyner, Frank Sinatra, Dr. John, Aretha Franklin, Elton John, Grover Washington Jr., Donald Fagen, Bill Withers, Chaka Khan, LL Cool J, Lalah Hathaway, Me’shell Ndegé Ocello and Flavio Sala.
“Detroit”, the opening track to his Latest album Renaissance. It is a mid-tempo burn with a horn driven melody and a funky bass riff doubled by overdriven guitar and horns. The drumming is tight drumming and a relatively short rhythmic bass solo whets the appetite. It builds into a few bars of fuzzed up slap that leave you wanting more. Alex Han (“Han Solo” as Miller refers to him) plays a neat funky Maceo-ish solo on alto as the track draws to a close.