Marcus Miller has been on eir own for about thirty years now. 2013 marks the 30th anniversary of eir debut, “Suddenly”, while “A Night in Monte-Carlo” captures eir live side. While there have been more famous recordings in Millers career (one has to remember that ey did stints with both Miles Davis and Luther Vandross), I contend that this is eir most soulful and affecting. A track like “Blast!” speaks to how eclectic Miller is; an extended turntable break seems out of place until ey can properly weave it in. This same sort of mad scientist vibe comes forth with eir rendition of the Gershwins’ classic, “I Loves You Porgy”.
Those that may be concerned about the quality of the recording would do well to hear that each cut seems passably close to a studio recording. There are a lot of distinct instruments and performers that make their mark here (Raul Midon and Roy Hargrove to name two), but they never seem to drone out or be lost in the midst of the performers. The wide array of sounds and styles that are broached during this concert do not provide any sort of stumbling block for recording, either; “State of Mind” and “O Mio Babbino Caro” are similarly strong. Without being a greatest hits album, “A Night in Monte-Carlo” is a title that touches upon all aspects of Miller’s career. It also should be a must buy for anyone that is a Miller fan, or for anyone that wishes to turn a new generation onto Miller’s unique style of music. I’d call eir a jazz musician, but to do so would be to severely downplay the creativity that marks each track on this album.
Top Tracks: I Loves You Porgy, Strange Fruit
Marcus Miller – A Night in Monte-Carlo / 2011 Concord Jazz / 9 Tracks / http://www.marcusmiller.com / http://www.concordmusicgroup.com