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Marcus and Miles ?

Discussion in 'Recordings [BG]' started by JazZ-A-LoT, Feb 17, 2003.

  1. JazZ-A-LoT


    Jan 5, 2003
    I know sometime during his career Miles Davis had Marcus Miller in his band. I was just wondering if anybody could give me the name of some of the recordings with this band??
  2. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Yes - interesting - I know there are two or three albums where Marcus produces and plays most of the instruments, then Miles played over the top or the pre-recorded backing tracks - something he said he would never do incidentally! So these are Tutu, Amandla etc?

    But I have the feeling these are later and that Marcus did play in Miles live band much earlier, as I have seen footage in a BBC documentary about Miles, where Marcus talks about him and then some live footage is shown where Marcus plays a great solo. But I don't know much about this version of Miles' band....?
  3. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    Get Paul Tingen's book! ;)
    (it's called Miles Beyond, Jazz-A-Lot).

    I wasn't too hip on this particular period of Miles 'til I read that book...even though I have had both Tutu & Amandla since the day they came out. Honestly, neither of those really floated my boat...if you're into stellar production(& I have friends that are) then you may like these albums.
    After reading Miles Beyond, I sought & bought both We Want Miles & Star People.
    Both have Marcus...both are in what Tingen calls "a chromatic Funk" vibe. The sound is more raw & improvised than the aforementioned Tutu & Amandla...
    The Man With The Horn is another from that period that I have never owned; not sure why, either.
    In any event, check out www.allmusic.com & read what they have to say about the above albums...
    Happy hunting.
  4. VJP


    Jun 25, 2001
    "The Man With The Horn"
    "We Want Miles" (live)
    "Star People" (Tom Barney on one track, Marcus on the rest)

    I love all three of these albums. They are really just a lot of jamming, but I dig it. Some great, raw, free playing by Marcus. The tune "Fat Time" on "Man with the Horn" is just chock full of Marcus nuggets. He plays some really cool s*** on that tune and he was probably 21 or 22 years old at the time. I won't every play anything that hip in my entire life.:D
  5. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I tend to trust my "Penguin Guide to Jazz on CD " for reviews and it does group together the 3 albums you mention above and lists Marcus as playing bass with various others, including John Scofield on these albums which are from '81 to '83.

    Anyway it says "No these are not classic records.", but mentions this period needs re-assessment and that they like "Star People" best of the 3 - "swing-era choruses over Motown riffs, dark blues shapes...and astonishing performance marred by cluttered arrangements and a fuzzy mix."

    As I thought Tutu and Amandla (plus soundtrack to Siesta!!) are later - 86 and 89 respectively - the Penguin guide says : "You know the feeling when some favourite movie or TV series is reincarnated as an animated cartoon...." ;)
  6. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    I would agree that these are not "Classic" albums...but, I wonder if Penguin Guide is comparing these to Miles' acoustic stuff.

    "...marred by cluttered arrangements & a fuzzy mix".
    To me, that's the "rawness" & 'not-so rehearsed' thing happenin'.
    If I wanted an "astonishing performance not marred by cluttered arrangements & a fuzzy mix"-
    I would still opt for Miles/Gil Evans(Porgy & Bess, Sketches Of Spain, &/or Miles Ahead) over the later Miles/Marcus production of Tutu, Siesta, &/or Amandla.

    That's just one man's opinion, though...
  7. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Well...yes, it has got over 1600 pages of reviews in small type!! Miles gets 14 pages to himself and many, many highly recommended recordings; so in this context - as I said - it's not a bad review.

    I suppose it depends what you are interested in - if you want all Marcus's stuff, then these are good albums to get. If you are interested in Miles' best albums - there are probably 30 you could choose before these!!

    And if you are looking at buiilding a collection of the best Jazz ever released on CD, then they don't even come into it!!

    I must say that personally, I would quite like to hear Miles, Sco and Marcus playing some funky stuff together, though! ;)
  8. moley


    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    Hmmm, "Penguin Guide to Jazz on CD" you say?

    *Adds that to ever-growing-list, which Levine's Jazz Theory Book is still at the top of*
  9. DigMe


    Aug 10, 2002
    Waco, TX
    Personally I enjoy Amandla but more like I would enjoy the compositions on a Marcus Miller album than on a Miles Davis album. Interestingly enough, there are several themes on this album that you will hear on Marcus' solo albums in his own songs, making it obvious who was doing most of the composing here.

    brad cook
  10. Andrew Jones

    Andrew Jones Banned

    Feb 28, 2001
    Northampton Mass
    I like we want miles Its raw and Mike stern sounds just that RAW! Ive never been a big fan of sco (light'em up Flame on!) To angular and off the beat(quirky) for me.

    Man with the horn is cool for 2 tracks but I dont dig the rest of it . Fat Time KILLS(stern) though

  11. jerry

    jerry Doesn't know BDO Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 1999
    I have a live double C.D. that was recorded in Japan........some great stuff on there! It's a import not a bootleg....so you might be able to find it. If you consider the age Marcus was when he played and then produced and wrote for Miles...it's pretty impressive:cool: I have more Miles C.D.'s in my collection than any other artist, and I love every period in his musical career;)
  12. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    Is that Miles! Miles! Miles!(Sony Records)?
    If so, I have been on the hunt for that; so far, no go.

    Different strokes...I like Sco because of his offbeat angular s***. ;)
  13. hujo


    Apr 18, 2001
    Stockholm, Sweden
    Hey Bruce, I saw that documentary too, I loved it! Especially the later part, with the more modern bands..

    Anyway, I have Star People, and it's just what the review says. Another album that sounds quite similar is You're Under Arrest, with Darryl Jones on bass, and Mike Stern and John Scofield on guitars. Darryl sounds a bit like Marcus actually, really cool player.
  14. hujo


    Apr 18, 2001
    Stockholm, Sweden
  15. VJP


    Jun 25, 2001
    I've got the "Miles, Miles, Miles" live disc and "We Want Miles." I think they were both recorded on the same tour. I like "We Want Miles" much better. The grooves seem a little better, the jams a little more interesting. Don't like the "Fat Time" vibe on "Miles, Miles, Miles." The version on "Man with the Horn" is much, much cooler.
  16. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    That's quite ironic really - as there are no bands about today like Miles' later period - but every week I go to Jazz clubs in the UK and there are lots of bands that sound like Miles earlier quintets!

    So you could say that it was the earlier part that had the "modern" bands!! ;)

    So it reminds me of a story told me by a pro Sax player who teaches music in schools (peripatetic) as well as leads his own band with all original material.

    So he plays acoustic Jazz and he says that quite often kids in school ask him if they can do some more modern stuff - so he mentioned how he was open-minded but he asked what they wanted and so one with an electric guitar started playing some Hendrix riff distortedly...and badly. ;)

    He then explained to them how that music was over 30 years old - but the tunes Julian was using with his own band were written last week and were different (improvised) every time they were played -so he uses odd, multiple time-signatures, but also simpler things based on elements of African music etc. etc.

    So which was the more modern music - his acoustic Jazz quartet or sub-Hendrix guitar riffing? ;)
  17. Woodchuck


    Apr 21, 2000
    Atlanta (Grant Park!)
    Gallien Krueger for the last 12 years!
    Funny story: One Saturday, Miles called Marcus in New York for a gig in Minnesota, and asked him when could he be there. Marcus said that he could be there by Tuesday, and Miles replied, "What the f*#k are you going to do, walk? Get your ass on a plane and be here by Sunday!" Marcus made the gig. :D