Marcus Miller, Funkin' for Jamaica

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by Dr. Cheese, Feb 10, 2013.


  1. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Supporting Member

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    The March issue of Bass Player cleared up something for me. I always read that Marcus Miller played on the Tom Browne track, Funkin' for Jamaica, but I just didn't hear him. It turns out that Marcus played a rhythm guitar style part that was later doubled by an actual guitarist. The transcription article is cool, the actual transcription was written by Sekou Bunch who was Brown's MD.
  2. phillybass101

    phillybass101 Supporting Member

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    Sekou is still active on the scene. We all know about the Carvin SKB series. Tecamp just came out with a new Cab called the Virtue that was designed by Sekou. Word from NAMM is that the cab is killer.
  3. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Supporting Member

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    It is interesting to check out the Carvin SB series and then listen to lines like "Thighs High." It is proof that Marcus Miller and his sound were a product of his gear choice and influences as opposed to special "Marcus Mojo."
  4. T-MOST

    T-MOST Supporting Member

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    Didn't Sekou play on Thighs High also?
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  6. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

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    Influences, yes. Gear choice, no.
  7. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion Gold Supporting Member

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    +1000 We would have had Marcus Miller not matter what he chose to play.
  8. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Supporting Member

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    Yes.
  9. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Supporting Member

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    Marcus would not sound like what we think of as Marcus without a Jazz Bass.
    The kind of Seventies Jazz Marcus uses was standard tool for his sort of music. A friend and colleague of mine who is a professor of theory and composition said the other day what a great composer Miller is. I have no doubt he would have deeply impacted music regardless of his tone.
  10. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

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    Can't say I ever heard anyone play a Jazz Bass and make it sound so steely bright before he came along. Plus he modded his Jazz with a preamp to be able to make it even more bright. I have a feeling Marcus would have gotten that sound out of anything because that's what he was going for. The only real requirement would be having rounds and a tweeter.
  11. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Supporting Member

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    Treble was "in the air" so to speak. Before Marcus Miller, UK players like entwistle and Squier had brightened the tone. Mark Adams from Slave made an impact just a little before Miller and he had a Jazz Bass and a very bright tone.
  12. jerry

    jerry Definitely not trending Gold Supporting Member

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    I used to see Marcus before he had the preamps installed, he pretty much sounded the same. A lot of his 70's recordings are just the '77 J-bass.
  13. hands5

    hands5

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    I remember that tone. it was around the time he was with Lonnie Liston Smith and the earlier Dave Grusin recordings
  14. hands5

    hands5

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    a tone that was "Sinister if there ever was one !
  15. jamminology101

    jamminology101

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    I saw a clip of mr sadowsky on u tube talking about how his basses all came to relevance and he said he was working on some nyc studio guys basses when MM came to his shop and wanted a preamp installed. I think if I remember correctly he put a guitar preamp in their and did some mods to it to better accommodate the lower frequencies of the bass. This became the birthplace of his testing grounds for bass preamps which eventually led to the making of sadowsky preamps. ..neat story.
  16. MixBass

    MixBass Supporting Member

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    I don't remember where I heard it but there's a recording of MM playing a P, slap/popping
    in spots and I could still tell it was him. It was really cool to hear him do that on a P, I dig the thumb stuff on a P just as much as a J. And I agree that he that MM sound before the Sadowsky hookup. IIRC Lenny Whites "Streamline" was his first disc which I think was well before they hooked.
  17. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson

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    Exactly!

    He and lots of other bassists got that tone out of later 70's Fender Jazzes with round wound strings. Marcus' sound isn't even as bright and raw as Mark Adams before him.
  18. Spaldo

    Spaldo

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    Marcus said in an interview once that he felt his tone was misheard. He stated that people think it's too bright, whereas he was striving for clarity and punch across the spectrum of the instrument.
  19. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Supporting Member

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    Marcus Miller on a 1953 Precision. That Precision tone does make him play differently!
  20. T-MOST

    T-MOST Supporting Member

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    I don't think his slap tone is excessively bright at all. I would agree with Marcus that it's clean and articulate.
  21. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson

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    Not quite. He put a bass preamp made by Stars Guitars, a company that made preamps and hardware back then. When that bass preamp gave up the ghost he installed a Bartolini in it. Those two companies were among the very few options back then. JHD Audio was another company. My 1978 Tobias has a one band fully parametric JHD preamp... and Stars Guitars hardware.

    I don't recall anyone making guitar preamps for retrofit back then.

    The onboard preamp gave portability to what he'd normally have to tweak at the recording console or amp as he went from studio to studio. People unfamiliar with 70's Fender Jazzes think it did something unique to the sound.

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