Marcus Miller’s ninth and latest album is simply titled Marcus. Equally simply, Marcus has great jazz funk music on it. The CD showcases Miller’s skills as an electric bassist and the 14 songs include solos that reveal the talent of his band members, drummer Poogie Bell, trumpeter Patches Stewart, saxophonist Keith Anderson, keyboardist Bobby Sparks and harmonica player Gregoire Maret. Miller and his band cover a few classic songs—Stevie Wonder’s “Higher Ground,” Miles Davis’s “Jean Pierre” and Tower Of Power’s “What Is Hip?” and they also perform an instrumental version of “When I Fall In Love” that sounds jazzy and is highlighted by harmonica.
The album gets off to a wonderful start with “Blast,” which has a Middle Eastern vibe and jazz saxophone in its melody. Guest artist Corinne Bailey Rae’s vocals come as a delightful surprise on the third track, “Free,” after hearing the two instrumental tracks before it. The eighth track, “’Cause I Want You,” featuring Shihan The Poet, is the least melodic, mostly sounding like a spoken word poem accompanied by music. Two versions of Robin Thicke’s “Lost Without U” are also on the album, the second version featuring Taraji Henson and Lalah Hathaway.
Marcus Miller – Marcus (2008)
01 – Blast!
02 – Funk Joint
03 – Free feat. Corrine Bailey Rae
04 – Higher Ground (Stevie Wonder Cover)
05 – Milky Way feat. Keb ‘Mo
06 – Pluck (Interlude)
07 – Lost Without U feat. Lalah Hathaway (Robin Thicke Cover)
08 – Cause I Want You feat. Shiban The Poet
09 – Ooh feat. Lalah Hathaway
10 – When I Fall In Love
11 – Strum
12 – Jean Pierre (Miles Davis Cover)
13 – What Is Hip (Tower Of Power Cover)
14 – Lost Without U (Spoken Word) feat. Taraji P. Henson (Robin Thicke Cover)