Marcus Miller, bass, bass clarinet, soprano saxophone, keyboards; Poogie Bell, drums; Dean Brown, guitars; Roger Byam, Bruce Flowers, keyboards; Lalah Hathaway, special guest vocalist; Michael "Patches" Stewart, trumpet; Leroy "Scooter" Taylor, keyboards.
This two CD set is a result of recordings made of the group by their live sound engineer during their spring 2002 tour. The quality of the recording is superb and there is a feeling of spontaneity throughout starting off with the introduction with cheering fans in the background.
The first cut of "Power" is a mid-tempo exercise of Jazz fusion featuring Miller's electric bass. Covering the Miles Davis tune, "So What," Miller defines the innovative spirit of that era with "Patches" Stewart doing an excellent trumpet solo. Other covers include Coltrane's classic "Lonnie's Lament", "I Loves You Porgy" and "People Make The World Go 'Round." The Miller composition "Panther" is a fusion of sounds with Miller's bass lines dominating a raggae beat background. An outstanding cut is "Your Amazing Grace" on which Miller performs on the bass clarinet on this slow somber version of the spiritual. Lalah Hathaway's vocals on "Killing Me Softly" are elegant, she expertly caresses the lyrics. The final cut on the CD is entitled "Miles/Marcus Medley" and it is a fitting tribute to the legacy of the Miles and Marcus era.
This CD is innovative and appealing-good listening even for an old bebopper like me!
by Dorothy Hill
Jazz Now Interactive
Copyright Jazz Now, May 2003 issue, all rights reserved