New Projects from Marcus Miller

Marcus Miller recently posted on Facebook what he’s been up to:

Finishing Alex Han’s first album, started work on Al Jarreau’s tribute to George Duke last week, writing for David Sanborn and myself.

Don’t know about you but that sounds like a whole lot of awesome to me!

Top Names Assemble for Jazz for Japan Benefit Recording

Jazz for Japan benefit recordingJazz For Japan is a benefit album recorded in two days by 25 of the top jazz musicians in the world benefiting the earthquake and tsunami victims in Japan. The recordings took place last week in Los Angeles at Capitol Studios in Hollywood. Legendary and Grammy nominated performers include: Kenny G, Christian McBride, Marcus Miller, George Duke, Rickey Minor, Tom Scott, Billy Childs, Boney James, Lee Ritenour, Keiko Matsui, Bob James, and many others.

Larry Robinson, Jazz For Japan producer states; “This project came about after discussing the tragic aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan with my co-workers. I told them that many of the American jazz musicians tour Japan numerous times a year. It was at that moment the seeds of Jazz For Japan were born. Within five days we called all our jazz friends and put together this truly amazing line up of musicians to record at Hollywood’s famous Capitol Recording Studio who all donated their time.”

The album features jazz standards including “Maiden Voyage,” “Body & Soul,” “Watermelon Man,” “So What,” “Sophisticated Lady,” etc. along with a DVD release including interviews with the artists stating their support and sympathy for the Japanese people. “You, the Japanese people inspire us with your resilience. We are trying to send our strength with what we have – and that’s music,” states Steve Gadd (drummer, performing on “Maiden Voyage”, and “So What”).

Jazz For Japan is being produced by Avatar Records and is available now worldwide via iTunes with profits benefiting the International Red Cross in Japan.

Dukey Treats from George Duke

You know how sometimes you’re a huge fan of an artist but their style changes over time? You keep buying their new music because you’re holding on/hoping for what you enjoyed in the past. Fortunately, that is not the case for every artist. George Duke is a constant in the contemporary jazz universe. He’s done other styles but he always comes back to the funk/soul style he loves best. His new Dukey Treats, available tomorrow, is full of soulful vocals provided by some familiar names: Jonathan Butler, Howard Hewett, Teena Marie, Rachelle Ferrell, and more. “I didn’t want to drift too far away from the old school sensibility,” Duke explains. As usual, you’ll find an irresistible track or two – it was the peppy “Are You Ready” for me.

Fans will not be disappointed in Dukey Treats. It’s like a visit from an old friend who hasn’t lost the things you love about him or her.

Buy Dukey Treats now from Amazon.com.
Download it from iTunes
Check out the Concord site for more information.

George Duke Goes Indie

George Duke - Face the MusicIt’s the year of major modern jazz artists striking out on their own. Branford Marsalis released Footsteps of Our Fathers earlier this year on his own label, Marsalis Music. Now George Duke has released his first album on his label, BPM (Big Piano Music). Face the Music was released September 3 and consists of mostly instrumentals. “The basic idea for this project was to use the same rhythm section for the entire album,” Duke says. “Though there are horns and vocals in spots, the rhythm section is the focus and identity of the music.” The rhythm section consists of Christian McBride and John Roberts.
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