|Persona Digital Music |
Marcus Miller, the multitalented musicians' musician collaborated with Miles Davis, played with Jaco Pastorius and carried forward a brilliant style of bass guitar playing, turning the bass into a versatile solo instrument. Lee Mergner interviewed Marcus Miller on his 2010 Music of Tutu on Tour. He wrote: "Miles Davis' album Tutu released in 1986 and named for Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa, was a landmark recording for the trumpeter. The richly arranged material from that album and its followup, Amandla, served to define Davis' sound for the final act in a long career of growth and transformation. Produced by bassist Marcus Miller, who had been a member of Miles' band when he came out of retirement back in 1980, Tutu is widely recognized as one of the great contemporary jazz records of the '80s with a powerful sound and feel that defy categorization."
Marcus recalled:" When I wrote the music for Tutu in early 1986, I had no idea that I'd be revisiting it more than twenty years later. When we recorded it with Miles, it was music for that time. Apartheid was still in place in South Africa, cats were wearing jackets with shoulder pads and the sound of the drum machine dominated music. I took a look at that particular landscape and created a sound that I thought blended the feeling of that time with the sound of Miles. We used synthesizers, samplers, drum machines and blended them with real musicians. Although many of the instruments were electronic, it was important to me to make the music feel good, to make it swing. And it was also important that, although I played most of the instruments on the album, that the sound of Miles' horn was the centerpiece. I tried to find melodies that were worthy of his glorious sound. The result, in my opinion, is a pretty good representation of what the eighties had to offer. To me, it captures Miles, negotiating his way through a world that had become half-man, half machine and finding a way to bend that world to his will."
I have treated Snakes, another Marcus Miller tune, as one of my anthem pieces, developing an energetic, big band style arrangement with my Flugelhorn as a solo instrument. Snakes in this version are a description of the state of the human world. I have the image on someone asking me what I think about the state of the world. I cannot speak. When I open my mouth, out comes Snakes.