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Persona Jazz

Marcus Miller

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.



  • Persona Music Recordings: Our Music Catalogue includes recorded performances under the titles Persona Digital, P2500 Band, Em4U, and the Persona Classical Consort. Music online is offered to illustrate music history, advance music education and appreciation. The recordings presented online demonstrate Persona Studio's arranging, recording and mastering techniques. All the recordings are arrangements and performances completed in house by Stephen Gislason. The music selections and their history are explained in the book, Sound of Music.

    Topics presented at Persona Digital Studio are from the The Sound of Music by Stephen Gislason
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    Persona Digital publishes a series of books on current topics in music, psychology, neuroscience and philosophy. eBooks and can be downloaded to any destination on the planet. Book orders are fulfilled by Alpha Online, a companion website. eBooks can be quickly downloaded at reduced cost as PDF files.

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    Human Nature
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    Persona Digital Studio is located on the Pacific Coast, Sechelt, British Columbia, Canada.
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