Marcus Miller knew Frank Sinatra. He also knows LL Cool J. Another thing Marcus Miller knows is jazz. Appearing on over 400 records in his 30 year career he has played with the best we are not going to mention Miles. He has produced Grammy winning CDs for David Sanborn and for himself. In 1993 Marcus branched out from producing and sessions to record The Sun Don’t Lie. In 1995, Tales found itself on record store shelves followed by Live & More in 1997. He then founded 3 Deuces Records and in 2001 he won a Grammy for Best Contemporary Jazz Album.
Flash forward to 2005 and his new release ‘Silver Rain’. This new album features the likes of Eric Clapton in a co-writers credit on the first song called ‘Intro Duction’ itself inspired by a Langston Hughes poem of the same name and adds a Kenny Garrett alto solo. Miller lets his bass do the talking on song two named ‘Bruce Lee’ and what a kick this song is! This features Gerald Albright on saxophone. Marcus Miller and company tackle five songs here one may not think to cover as a jazz musician. The first one is ‘Frankenstein’ brought to our attention by Edgar Winter. This song is unmistakable Miller. Kenn Hicks supplies us with vocals on ‘La Villette’ and the interlude named ‘Paris’ features harmonica player Gregoire Maret.
Lucky Peterson supplies us with bluesy guitar by Lucky Peterson which it in itself is just plain great. Marcus Miller can visualize who could sing on the tracks when he picks them and Prince’s ‘Girls and Boys’ features the soul/pop swagger of Macy Gray. The last cover song is ‘Power Of Soul’ by Jimi Hendrix which Miller and company pull off beautifully. Stevie Wonder’s ‘Boogie On Reggae Woman’ makes an appearance on here and to be honest if Stevie made an appearance on his track, it would push this whole entire album over the top.
This album is filled with an all-star cast and this album is a must for all of 2005. Marcus Miller has produced, played on and envisioned an album that can take us into next year and beyond.