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Marcus Miller begins Tutu Revisited Tour!!!

US: iTunes, Amazon CD, Amazon MP3
Canada: iTunes, Amazon CD

[Marcus Miller]
Tutu Revisited
Featuring [Christian Scott]

6/11 - [SFJazz, San Francisco, CA]
6/12 - [Playboy Jazz Festival, Hollywood, CA]
6/18 - [Dupont Clifford Brown Jazz Festival, Wilmington, DE] :: Free Outdoor Show!!!!!!!!
6/20 - [Bear's Den, Seneca Niagara Casino and Hotel, Niagara Falls, NY]
6/22 - [Highline Ballroom, New York, NY]
8/14 - [San Jose Jazz Festival, San Jose, CA]
8/15 - [Long Beach Jazz Festival, Long Beach, CA]
8/18 - [Wolf Trap - Vienna, VA]

A musician as versatile and in demand as Marcus Miller rarely has down time between projects. In fact, he is usually working on at least three at once. Marcus’ other focus, as well as his studio work and filmscoring, has recently been Tutu Revisited featuring Christian Scott, an endeavor that began as a one-off concert in Paris to close the inaugural “We Want Miles” commemorative exhibit that bowed there in the summer of 2009. Marcus Miller was the primary composer and producer of the 1986 album Tutu that has come to define the final chapter of jazz great Miles Davis hallowed career. The title track “Tutu” was written in praise of South Africa’s Archbishop Desmond Tutu and has since become one of jazz’s last classic compositions, instantly recognizable from its opening dramatic strikes. Since the song’s debut, it has been re-recorded by the likes of Al Jarreau & George Benson, The Manhattan Transfer, Cassandra Wilson, S.M.V. (Stanley Clarke, Miller and Victor Wooten) and several “live” renditions by Marcus. But there has never been a look back at other songs from the seminal album on which Marcus showcased the raw beauty of Miles trumpet amid a sea of synthesizers, drum machines and keyboards (all of which Miller played himself)…until now.

“To me, Tutu captured Miles negotiating his way through a world that was half man/half machine, and finding a way to bend that word to his will,” Marcus muses. “In my opinion, it is a pretty good representation of what the ‘80s had to offer. When I was approached about revisiting that music in concert last year, I hesitated…because one thing universally understood about Miles is that he never looked back. Still, I was intrigued by the idea of saluting Miles and began to think of how I could present that music in a fresh context. I figured the best way to do that is with young musicians.”

The core that Miller came up with is New Orleans trumpet sensation Christian Scott in the hot seat – a player with just four albums of is own under his belt but with an assured confidence and style that reflects the past and points to the future. On drums is the 23 year old Louis Cato who has has worked with Norah Jones, Roy Hargrove and Bilal among many others. On keyboards is Federico Gonzalez Pena, a player of expert skill and impeccable taste who left his first indelible impressions as a member of MeShell NdegeOcello’s band. Finally on alto sax is Miller’s own discovery Alex Han who blew him away during an intensive 7-day master class he was teaching at the Berklee College of Music. “When I met Alex, he was incredible…especially to only be 19 years-old” Miller shares. “I was struck by his maturity, facility, ideas and spirit – everything you look for in a musician. Because he was still in school, I initially only used him for a summer tour. Now I’m proud to have this 22 year-old wonder in my band.”

Beyond the world-renowned “Tutu”, the band explores deep album tracks such as “Tomaas,” “Full Nelson,” “Portia” and the insanely funky “Splatch” (in two parts). They also explore songs from the follow-up to Tutu, Amandla (1989), as well as some things from the early `80s We Want Miles era, including the funkafied nursery rhyme “Jean Pierre.” After the first rehearsal where the young guns played the Tutu material practically note for note off the vinyl, Miller implored them to find their own voice within the music. And though Miller was a veteran of Davis’ early `80s “comeback” tours – first working with him at age 21 on his The Man With The Horn Lp - by the time of Tutu, he was not a member of the touring band. Now, Marcus gets to explore Tutu’s music live for the first time.

“Writing for Miles was nice because everything we did in that period he left his fingerprint on. It took me to another place and made me find sounds I wouldn’t have normally found. I was very inspired and could hear myself coming into my own. Miles recognized this, too, and told me, ‘Hey, you’re in that period! Recognize it and write as much as you can because these periods come and go…’ That was saying a lot because he had told Wayne Shorter (the saxophonist/prolific jazz composing genius for whom Miller produced High Life in 1995) the same thing two decades before me. After Miles gave me the benediction, I had a supreme level of confidence. I no longer cared what anyone thought of what I did. It freed me to just focus on making the best music I possibly can.”