As part of a triumvirate of great jazz-fusion bass players of his generation (the other two being Stanley Clarke and Victor Wooten, who collaborated with Miller on 2008’s “Thunder”), Marcus Miller could just be turning in albums of the music his fans expect to hear, but instead he keeps on reinventing his sound and taking further the idea of the jazz bass as a lead instrument.
On his new release Renaissance (Concord), he teams up with a new band formed by much younger musicians with diverse backgrounds and seems to feed from their “hunger” by creating fresh grooves and lines. Take “February,” a gorgeous piano-driven original with a bossa-like flavor in which the bandleader’s electric bass subtly interacts with Maurice Brown (trumpet) and Alex Han (alto sax), or “Setembro (Brazilian Wedding Song),” a ballad by Brazilian pianist Ivan Lins that features Miller on fretless bass and legendary Panamanian salsa singer Rubén Blades. The tune is given a Latin-styled treatment via Ramon Islas’ skilled percussion and Blade’s signature vocals.
For the Chicago stop, Miller’s band will be rounded out by Alex Han (saxophone), Lee Hogans (trumpet), Federico Gonzalez Peña (keyboards), Adam Agati (guitar) and Louis Cato (drums). (Ernest Barteldes)
September 13 at Mayne Stage, 1328 West Morse, (773)381-4554, 7:30pm, $50-$69.50.
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