Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Ok, but not nearly as good as "The Ozell Tapes"
Michael Stack | North Chelmsford, MA USA | 04/25/2005
(2 out of 5 stars)
""Live & More" is a tough one-- if I had reviewed it when it first came out, I think I would have rated it higher than I do now, but in light of the vastly superior releae, "The Ozell Tapes", this one seems a bit less essential.
The first eight tracks are live from various show (mostly in Japan), the last two are studio recordings appended to the end. The live show is ok, the performance is pretty hot at time, but being culled from different sources, there's a bit of a lack of continuity that can actually be felt in it, and the band is largely uninteresting, Kenny Garrett puts forth a good performance throughout, and Hiram Bullock gets some good licks in, but beyond that and Marcus' unnervingly brilliant bass playing, the musicianship is passable but not superb.
Still, Marcus' bass solo on "Panther" is monsterous (although this one seems to inspire him constantly, every performance I've heard of it is amazing), "Tutu" and "Funny" get the best playing from the support cast, and are both rather extended pieces, and while "People Make the World Go 'Round" delves into pretty straightforward funk, the band cooks on this one as well. Less can be said for "Strange Fruit", "Summertime", or "Maputo", none of which seems particularly inspiring.
Of the studio material, "Sophie" is a pretty if somewhat straightforward and unengaging ballad, but "Jazz in the House" just irritates me to no end.
If you want to check out a live Marcus Miller record, look at "The Ozell Tapes" first, its vastly superior."
Needed More Of That Live Spontaneity
Mr. Richard D. Coreno | Berea, Ohio USA | 04/06/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Recorded at the 1996 Montreux Jazz Festival and in several venues in Japan that year, released in March 1998 and nominated in 1999 for a Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Jazz Album, this live set - with two studio cuts - is a very good & very frustrating listen.
Miller, who tours extensively in Europe and Japan - and is only 47 years old, as of early 2007 - has made a legendary mark for himself in popular music as a producer, bassist, composer and arranger. But there is something missing in this critically-acclaimed set.
The live cuts have the feel of a "studio" CD being cut "live" due to most being faded out before completion, with the crowd noise negligible in the mix, almost as if they are part of the song's sound and not actually in the venues for a concert experience.
Kenny Garrett - soprano and alto saxophones - and guitarist Hiram Bullock have surprisingly subdued roles in the music, which is dominated by Miller bouncing from funk to smooth jazz sounds on the bass. Well, it is Miller's band after all, but Garrett and Bullock have defined themselves as some of the best soloists for this generation's jazz artists.
Intro finds Miller carrying the beat in a funky mode, but it is his weaving into Panther's quirky rhythm that is nothing short of brilliant. Though his brief bass solo on Tutu adds nothing to one of his most famous collaborative efforts with Miles Davis, Michael Stewart on trumpet turns in a solid performance in a role that is virtually impossible to fill.
Vocalist Lalah Hathaway adds new meaning to the standard, Summertime, and People Make The World Go Round is a nice send-off, though each musician receives so little solo space. Out of the pair of studio tracks, the Donald Fagan-like groove on Jazz In The House is clearly the best.
What makes for a truly great live show is equal parts of heart & soul from the musicians and the audience. Live & More - though outstanding musically - has a disconnect in that equation which musicianship alone cannot overcome.