Marcus Milller – Concert Review. - 24/07/2015

As our regular readers will know this is not the first time the Gear-Review team have visited el Porton del Jazz. Having hosted greats in previous edition such as Spyra Gyra, Victor Bailey, Robert Cray, Victor Wooten, and this year’s headliner Marcus Miller.

I must confess that I am a big Marcus Miller fan, so this review might be a bit on the biased side! Then again there is no arguing with this man’s great musical journey, the quality of the musicians he has worked with and awards he has acquired over the years.

Moving on and after a nice meal at a local “Venta” (restaurant) we arrive at the venue, Finca el Porton. El Porton as it is known to most, is a mid sizes amphitheatre tucked away in the deepest corner of Alhaurin el Grande, a sleepy town a dozen or so kilometres from the busy city of Malaga in Spain.

Around fifteen minutes after the projected start time of 10.30 pm the show started with a huge welcome from the crowd for Marcus who kicked off with the first track from his new Afrodeezia album

He then jokingly moved sequentially through the albums main tracks, this is track one, this is track two and so on. Titles such as “Hylife, the Brazilian flavoured “We Were There”, a very funky cover of “Papa was a Rolling Stone”, also to add a very intricate and technical Miles Davis number towards the end.

All the songs performed where deep cuts with long solos from each band member and improvisational sections. Each track was expanded to showcase each band member’s musicality and the interaction between them. These guys are really top professional musicians and one cannot but be inspired by their musical and technical ability.

Gear wise Marcus was using his usual modified 70s Fender Jazz Bass, and also a Sunburst Fretless Musicman Stingray which he used on a few songs, all through a EBS head and cab.  He also used a Moroccan stringed instrument on “B’s River” which as he himself has mentioned could be the predecessor to the slap bass technique he employs.

The guitarist was rocking a Tom Anderson Jazzmaster stlyle Raven and in the keyboard department we had a Nord Lead and an acoustic grand piano.

At the end of the show Marcus held an meet and greet so the fans that so wanted and I got my own Marcus Miller Jazz Bass signed as well as a copy of the new album.

A truly memorable concert indeed.

By Ernest H Slade

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