Marcus Miller, a world renowned bassist, has had a huge influence on most bass players all around the world in the last quarter of a century. Born in 1959, Marcus is a producer, composer and multi-instrumentalist who was classically trained on clarinet.
With incredible musical facility he has an extensive list of artists he has worked with, spending much time as a sideman and producer for Mile Davis, David Sanborn, Luther Vandross and Grover Washington Jr among others.
On a pleasant Monday evening in November 2010, Marcus Miller gave a clinic in Melbourne which I attended with some great mates of mine. As he walked out onto the stage, I must admit I did feel a little light headed, giddy if you will. I have been a huge fan of Marcus’s playing for such a long time and to see him in person was such a thrill.
He opened with some stories about Miles Davis. Talk about one degree of separation. I was listening to living modern jazz history first hand.
Marcus shared many insights that night as well as laying down some serious grooves. Afterwards, I got to meet him and he signed my copy of his book. Among other things I asked him about how he plays with a pickup cover on his bass. Just months before I had bought a Marcus Miller signature series Fender 5 string and I tried to play with it on but found it too limiting. He simply said that it was something he just got used to.
Marcus is such a gentleman, a very spiritual man and was very generous spending his time with us. Once he had ‘left the building’ me and my buddies went and had a pizza hang. Among other things, we talked about how difficult it was going to be trying to get to sleep later that night with heads still buzzing.
It was one of those days in your life you never forget. You know those ones right?
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