Ain't no stopping Marcus Miller - veteran jazz legend releases his 20th album

keep it coming: US jazz composer, producer and multi-instrumentalist Marcus Miller is on tour promoting his latest album 'Afrodeezia' PHOTO: SUPPLIED
keep it coming: US jazz composer, producer and multi-instrumentalist Marcus Miller is on tour promoting his latest album 'Afrodeezia' PHOTO: SUPPLIED

IT'S a rarity to come across musicians who have been in the industry for more than three decades, won multiple awards and still have the burning passion for music to keep releasing albums and share their music with fans worldwide through extensive tours.

That is why Marcus Miller is spoken of in the same breath as other legends such as Luther Vandross, Herbie Hancock and Miles Davis.

The US jazz composer, producer and multi-instrumentalist who's familiar to jazz boffins as a bass guitarist has just released his 20th album, dubbed Afrodeezia.

Speaking to Sowetan while on tour in France, Miller can't hide his excitement at the new album.

"It's only been out for three weeks and the reception has been fantastic," he says.

He is currently on tour promoting the album that he says has a more global sound than his previous works.

"When I had the idea to do the album, I wanted to get different artists from all over the world."

He and his band have just toured Italy and they'll be headed back to the US to play a couple of states.

"That's what we do. After the release of an album, we spend probably two years on the road promoting it," says the 55-year-old.

He and his band were involved in an accident in Switzerland in 2012.

"The accident put a lot of things in perspective. It was a horrible experience and every time I hit the stage I feel very blessed," he says.

 

Miller says, with the advancement of technology, they sometimes record while on tour.

But he says technology also has a downside as it sometimes leads to the death of artists' careers because people rely on downloading and not buying albums.

"I get worried when artists don't benefit. You don't want to end up with part-time musicians who have regular jobs to pay the bills."

Miller, who composed Vandross's hit song Power of Love, has also appeared as a session musician on the albums of Michael Jackson, Aretha Franklin andSir Elton John, among others.

"I love the new artists we have on the scene," he says, mentioning names such as Robert Glasper, Esperanza Spalding and Gregory Porter. "I'm very excited about the future."

Miller has performed in South Africa at the Cape Town International Jazz Festival. "I'd love to play Johannesburg; I've never played there before, maybe we'll come down there some time," he says.

tiwaneb@timesmedia.co.za

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