by Marcus MillerMarcus Miller


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Afrodeezia is bassist Marcus Miller's debut for Blue Note Records. Produced by the artist, the 11-track set features his core band -- saxophonist Alex Han, trumpeter Lee Hogans, pianist Brett Williams, guitarist Adam Agati, and drummer Louis Cato -- with an international list of guests. The music was inspired by Miller's work as a UNESCO artist for peace, and as a spokesperson for the Slave Route project. Afrodeezia is a masterful contemporary reflection of transcontinental rhythms and melodies that have migrated through the bodies and spirits of African slaves as they were transported to South America, the Caribbean, and the United States before refracting back across the globe in the contemporary era through jazz, R&B, and hip-hop. "Hylife," the set's first single, reflects the long reach of Ghana's popular style grafted on to contemporary jazz-funk with a host of Senegalese musicians on percussion and backing vocals. Lead vocals are provided courtesy of Alune Wade, the great Senegalese bassist. Despite its intense dancefloor appeal, the players' sophisticated rhythmic and harmonic interplay is ferocious. On "B's River," kora player Cherif Soumano and guest trumpeter Etienne Charles solo with Miller on gimbri, bass, and bass clarinet. "Preacher's Kid (Song for William H)" melds modern jazz and American and African gospel. The bassist performs on upright, clarinet, and piano; Cory Henry guests with a gorgeous organ solo as Lalah Hathaway delivers wordless vocals supported by Wade, Dakar's mezzo-soprano Julia Sarr, and Take 6's Alvin Chea. "We Were There" celebrates the example of George Duke and Joe Sample and how their love for Brazilian sounds transformed modern jazz. Robert Glasper's Fender Rhodes is a nice foil for Miller's dominant bassline. Hathaway's scat vocals are appended by a Brazilian chorus with percussion from Marco Lobo. The cover of "Papa Was a Rolling Stone" features guitarists Wah-Wah Watson (who appeared on the Temptations' hit), and Keb' Mo', whose blues approach arcs the lineage to the Delta. Patches Stewart adds his NOLA trumpet playing to emphasize that city's R&B groove in the heart of Northern Soul. Rightfully, this jam is ruled by Miller's bassline, which pays homage to the original while revealing how it influenced everything in popular music that came afterward. "Son of Macbeth" is another monster groover that re-links calypso to contemporary jazz. Just as Robert Greenridge's steel pan drums made Grover Washington, Jr. and Bill Withers' "(Just) the Two of Us" so infectious, Greenridge appears to do the same here. "I Can't Breathe," with just Miller and Mocean Worker creating a wild meld of instrumental color, back Public Enemy's Chuck D in wedding hard funk, political hip-hop, and dance music, exhorting the listener to remember that the struggle for equality is not over. Miller's wide-angle view of jazz is extended further on the glorious Afrodeezia. It reveals in a sophisticated, exceptionally ambitious manner the labyrinthine interconnectedness of earlier sounds and rhythms -- which emerged from bondage and horrific suffering -- to new ones that bring the world joy.

Product Details

Release Date: 03/17/2015
Label: Blue Note Records
UPC: 0602547214416
catalogNumber: 002277802
Rank: 49391

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Marcus Miller   Primary Artist,Synthesizer,Piano,Bass Clarinet,Bass Guitar,Vocals,Kalimba,Fretless Bass Guitar,Acoustic Bass,fender rhodes,Gimbri
Michael Doucet   Violin,Guest Appearance
Roddie Romero   Accordion,Guest Appearance
Lalah Hathaway   Vocals,scat,Guest Appearance
Alvin Chea   Bass (Vocal),Choir, Chorus,Guest Appearance
Robert Greenidge   Steel Pan,Guest Appearance
Munyungo Jackson   African Percussion,Guest Appearance
Wah Wah Watson   Guitar,Guest Appearance
Brett Williams   Piano,fender rhodes
Keb' Mo'   Guitar,Guest Appearance
Michael "Patches" Stewart   Trumpet,Guest Appearance
Marco Lobo   Percussion,Guest Appearance
Mocean Worker   Guitar,Bass Guitar,fender rhodes
Aline Cabral   Background Vocals,Guest Appearance
Robert Glasper   fender rhodes,Guest Appearance
Andrea Dutra   Background Vocals,Guest Appearance
Louis Cato   Drums,Djembe
Alex Han   Alto Saxophone,Soprano Saxophone
Etienne Charles   Percussion,Trumpet,Guest Appearance
Lee Hogans   Trumpet
Ambrose Akinmusire   Trumpet,Guest Appearance
Cliff Barnes   Organ,Piano,Guest Appearance
Ben Hong   Cello,Guest Appearance
Cory Henry   Organ,Guest Appearance
Julia Sarr   Choir, Chorus,Guest Appearance
Adam Agati   Guitar,Electric Guitar
Guimba Kouyaté   Acoustic Guitar,Background Vocals,Guest Appearance
Mamadou Cherif Soumano   Background Vocals,Kora,Guest Appearance
Adama Dembélé   Percussion,Background Vocals,Guest Appearance
Alune Wade   Vocals,Choir, Chorus,Guest Appearance
Christiane Correa Tristao   Background Vocals,Guest Appearance
Lamumba Henry   Percussion,Djembe

Technical Credits

Georges Bizet   Composer
Djavan   Composer
Barrett Strong   Composer
Serge Glanzberg   Engineer
Marcus Miller   Arranger,Composer,Producer,Horn Arrangements
Norman Whitfield   Composer
Brett Williams   Composer
Carlton Ridenhour   Composer
Glenn Brown   Engineer
Mocean Worker   Producer,drum programming
Ken Rich   Engineer
Taka Honda   Engineer
Ghian Wright   Engineer
Adam Dornblum   Composer
Harold Goode   Executive Producer
Harry Martin   Executive Producer
Justin Tocket   Engineer
Louis Cato   Composer
Alex Han   Composer
Lee Hogans   Composer
Hollis Greathouse   Engineer
J.P. Hesser   Engineer
Adam Agati   Composer
Mamadou Cherif Soumano   Composer
Alune Wade   Composer
John Roods   Engineer
André Cavalante   Engineer

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