Marcus Miller

Selected by Dan Grunebaum

Miles' right-hand man

In another sign of Japan's importance as a record market, jazz fusion great Marcus Miller will launch his new album M2 with a quick Japan tour before setting off for Europe and the US.

Best known for his stellar work with the late great Miles Davis, Miller took up the bass in his teens, becoming part of the New York soul scene in his early years. Breaking into the jazz world as part of a tour with drummer Lenny White's group, Miller soon became a sought-after session player, recording with Roberta Flack and Aretha Franklin in the late '70s.

In 1980, Miller was invited to join Miles Davis, participating in the live concerts that marked the trumpet great's comeback after an extended absence. Despite Miles' liking for the bassist, Miller soon left Davis for the greater financial rewards of session work, rejoining Miles in 1986 after working with popular saxophonist David Sanborn.

Miles and Miller renewed their relationship with greater intensity, creating perhaps Miles' closest artistic collaborations since his work with Gil Evans in the '50s. Miles entrusted Miller with almost complete creative control on his landmark Grammy-winning album, Tutu. Miller's effortlessly funky bass lines and rich synthesizer charts resulted in perhaps the finest album of Davis' latter period. The pair then went on to collaborate on the Siesta and Amandlia albums.

The new album, M2, marks Miller's first in four years and, he says in an interview for the liner notes, contains some surprises. "We covered some tunes that you don't normally hear. Tunes like the Talking Heads' 'Burning Down the House,' and John Coltrane's 'Lonnie's Lament.'"

M2 features a spectacular array of guests including Herbie Hancock, Branford Marsalis and Chaka Khan, just to name a few from the star-studded lineup. "My goal on this new album was to present music the way I heard it," Miller explained. "I wanted to make a funk/jazz record that contains the history of jazz and also the future."

Marcus Miller plays Shibuya AX on June 14 and Shibuya Kokaido on June 15. See listings for details.

Concert Listings
394: Regurgitator
393: Art Garfunkel


392: Belle and Sebastian
391: Super Furry Animals
390: Ben Folds
389: Elton John
388: Dido
387: Papa Roach
386: Beast Feast 2001
385: Summersonic
384: David Sylvian
383: Maxi Priest & Big Mountain
382: Fuji Rock Festival 01
381: Roxy Music
380: Bo Diddley
379: John McLaughlin & Zakir Hussain in Remember Shakti
378: Paul Weller
377: Coolio
376: Backyard Babies
375: Marcus Miller
374: Black Crowes
373: Megadeath
372: Dionne Warwick
371: Arrested Development
370: Mouse on Mars
369: Duran Duran
368: Linkin Park
367: Maceo Parker
366: Japan Blues Carnival 2001
365: Ben Harper
364: Cheap Trick
363: Stephen Malkmus
362: Mogwai
361: Weezer
360: Marilyn Manson
359: Green Day
358: AC/DC
357: Richard Thompson
356: Bob Dylan
355: J. Mascis
354: Leigh Stephen Kenny
352/3: Limp Bizkit
351: Boyz II Men
350: Reef
349: Park Tower Blues Festival
348: Roni Size
347: Compay Segundo
346: Incognito
345: Jimmy Page and The Black Crowes
344: Bad Religion
343: Japan Soul Festival 2000
342: Rocktober 2000
341: Richard Ashcroft
340: Motorhead
339: Festival Halou
338: Ricky Martin
337: Taj Mahal
336: Asian Dub Foundation
335: Lou Reed
334: Earth, Wind & Fire
333: Sting
332: No Doubt
331: Camel
330: Fuji Rock: Smash Talks
329: Summer Sonic
328: Mt. Fuju Aid 2000
327: Salif Keita
326: Buena Vista Social Club
325: Bill Frisell
324: Maxi Priest
323: Lenine
322: Rage Against the Machine
321: Tommy Flanagan Trio
320: Smashing Pumpkins
319: Pet Shop Boys
318: Japan Blues Carnival
317: Gipsy Kings
316: Steely Dan
315: Pshish
314: Big Night Out
313: Femi Kuti and the Positive Force
312: Harry Connick Jr.
311: Sonny Rollins
310: Speech
309: Santana