Marcus Miller at the Barbican Hall
It was not a blue Monday for jazz lovers attending the Barbican Hall’s sold-out Marcus Miller and Dennis Rollins concert this week.
It would be hard to confuse Miller’s style with anybody else’s. Onstage, the bass guitar appears almost to assault him, as if to punish him for a mortal sin. He arrogantly slaps and yanks it, as if to force the instrument to its very limits, and even towards the gates of the unknown.
Consired one of the best bass players alive, for many, Miller does not need any introduction at all. Those less familiar with the genre, however, may recognise the name from a few very enthusiastic lines dedicated to him in Miles Davis’ autobiography. He presents material from his new album Afrodeezia: a mix of jazz, funk and soul, influenced by West African, South American and Caribbean sounds.
Miller and his younger, accompanying band – Adam Agati on the guitar and Brett Williams on keyboards – speak a sonic narrative. They portray feelings of human resilience against terrible fates of enslavement and loss of freedom. First to share the stage with Miller are Alex Han and Marquis Hill, on saxophone and trumpet respectively, singing the notes of Papa Was a Rolling Stone by The Temptations. Later in the show, the legendary percussionist Mino Cinelu joins them to compliment Miller’s virtuosity on the bass. After tapping all of the strings from his collection of bass guitars, Miller brings on stage a Ngoni, as well as a bass clarinet, to subsequently caress the mind and hearts of his jazz audience.
It is no surprise therefore, that Marcus Miller has been nominated as an international ambassador for jazz but also as a UNESCO artist for peace.
For further information about Marcus Miller and future events visit here.