Music is nature's language. What it is telling you is to shut up for once and listen.


He is the groove master. Everything I know about playing straight bass with a jazzy funk I learnt from him. And boy did he know what he was doing, sitting on that beat like a rodeo rider, no matter how it goes wild



You cant sell news stories that have data and cautious predictions. Where is the panic? Where is the impending doom? C'mon people , give me something to work with here…

    Opinions / Science / Theory of Relative Ignorance  

..and as I was a yuppy marketing and advertising executive for the better part
of a decade, I am not really impressed with stories of selling your soul to the devil...

    Art & Culture / Music / Blues / Robert Johnson  

Marcus Miller - Slap Soul

When it comes to jazz electric bass, there is Jaco. And then there is an empty space. The only person that comes even near is Marcus Miller. The only thing that keeps miller in a second place is that fact that unlike Jaco, he is not completely insane, but you can really hold it against him.

He is the groove master. Everything I know about playing straight bass with a jazzy funk I learnt from him. And boy did he know what he was doing, sitting on that beat like a rodeo rider, no matter how it goes wild, he is right there on the beat, right there to do something that you didn’t expect.

It is not a Stevie wonder groove, and not really funky. It is definitely not classic jazz. It is something in between, something that sounds familiar enough to be popy, groovy enough to be funky,  smart enough to be jazzy and all in all just great music.

I love it when a bass man takes center stage. It is always interesting. They have a better understanding of music in general, and rhythm in particular so the result is always airtight and fantabolous.

Marcus for me is "third generation bass player". (yes, I have started thinking in terms of smart phones…please shoot me now). But it is true. The first generation was the big jazz giants. Let's just say Mingus and move on. It is enough. Then there were the Stanley Clarks and the Jjacos which brought in the electric revolution. But they were still jazzy in spirit, although they did start to combine rock/soul elements on one hand, and play jazzy versions of chart songs on the other hand.

Marcus miler is third generation, when the new jazz electric jazz is already jazz by name only, and you can feel the soul train passing the background, with a funky disposition and a bluesy solo lines. And this is why I love his work. It is fun. It is free. It is interesting.

  I pull them out from time to time depending on the vibe, ... That's a great thing about jazz: We leave it a little space so that we have the opportunity to go where the moment takes us.”
I was never a big fan of slapping. Well, when I talk with some specimens of the human race, especially about subjects like religion or politics I often feel the need to slap someone, but a bass never did anything bad to me and I am quite convinced most bass would be liberals anyway so no need to slap them.
Slap bass for me was level 42 and a ska mix of pop and funk, which was entertaining but never really tickled my interest too much. But then players like miller started using this technique not as a 'special effect' or part of a 'crowd pleasing' maneuvers on stage, which was refreshing. Suddenly this way of playing, this new pick of the litter picking technique got legitimate and became part of my musical vocabulary holding its long bass head high.

In this era it's harder for musicians to get together, ... Back in the '80s, we were all at the clubs, you ran into people all the time.

Now, everybody's kind of in their own room with their computers. I use making an album as an opportunity to connect with musicians."


And for that alone I am thankful to the generation of Marcus millers of the bass. just to mention a couple of more of these bass barons who were part of this revolution, check out the video with Victor Wooten and Stanley Clark.
what a trio.  It is different all right. But still. Mingus would have been proud. So would have been Jaco.
Blasphemous bass bastard beats bellowing beautiful bliss.

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