Marcus Miller – Silver Rain; Koch Records

by | Nov 7, 2005 | Jazz CD Reviews | 0 comments

Marcus Miller – Silver Rain; Koch Records COC-CD-5779 CD ***1/2: 

Ever wonder what an artist is thinking while writing a particular piece
of music?  What inspired them or what a song means?  Well, on
this record, Miller offers brief introductions in the liner notes on
every track.  The mix of material is quite eclectic and includes
compositions from The Edgar Winter Group, Prince, Stevie Wonder, Jimi
Hendrix, Duke Ellington, Brenda Russell, and even Ludwig van
Beethoven!  It’s a full force jazz experience that is well
recorded, lively, dynamic, and bumpin’!  Miller’s bass is
prominent on every track and although it isn’t really 100% fusion, the
disc leans in that direction.  There is an all-star group of
musicians who play on this record that includes Gerald Albright, Lalah
Hathaway (who handles vocals on a few tunes), Lucky Peterson, Kenny
Garrett, Eric Clapton, and Macy Gray. 

On tracks like “Frankenstein” Miller really gets the funk out. 
This track is one of the truly standout jazz songs on the disc and the
skill demonstrated sets Miller apart from his contemporaries.  The
title of the record comes from a Langston Hughes poem and is filled
with a large variety of compositions giving Miller the opportunity to
show off his versatility and ability to tackle tough, unfamiliar
material with aplomb.  As mentioned, the bass is heavy on every
track, but if that doesn’t turn you off, it will definitely get your
heart pumping and your feet tapping.  Songs included are: 
Intro Duction; Bruce Lee; La Villette; Behind The Smile; Frankenstein;
Moonlight Sonata; Boogie On Reggae Woman; Paris (Interlude); Silver
Rain; Make UP My Mind; Girls and Boys; Sophisticated Lady; Power of
Soul; Outro Duction; If Only For One Night.

-Brian Bloom

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