Marcus Miller‘s latest album ‘Renaissance’ has debuted at No.1 on the Billboard Contemporary Jazz Chart.
Released on August 7, the album has received praise from critics for Miller’s incredibly emotive and expressive style on the thirteen song collection, which includes five covers from the likes of Janelle Monae, The Jackson 5, and WAR.
The album also features Miller’s young touring band, which includes Maurice Brown (trumpet), Louis Cato (drums), Adam Agati, 2011 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Piano Competition award winner Kris Bowers, and Miller’s long-time mentee Alex Han.
Along with the new album comes a new mission for the two-time Grammy award winner. “I feel like a page is turning. The last of our heroes are checking out and we are truly entering a new era,” Miller explained. He went on to say: “Politically, things have polarized and are coming to a head. Musically, we’ve got all these cool ways to play and share music – MP3s, internet radio, satellite radio – but the music is not as revolutionary as the media. It’s time for a re-birth.”
To an extent, that’s what this album is – It brings new arrangements to the classic covers on the album, and the original compositions are largely inspired by Jazz Legends, such as the track “Cee-Tee-Eye”, which pays homage to Freddie Hubbard’s extended groves.
“Renaissance is a word that resonates on a lot of different levels for me,” Miller explains. “It’s about getting back to the essential aspects of art. I’m focusing less on production, and more on composition, so this is a very clear album for me… I don’t want to just do some cliches in different genres, like a guy that can just say ‘how are you’ in 20 different languages. The real challenge is, can you communicate something of substance through these languages that you speak?”
Watch Marcus Miller talk about the ‘Renaissance’ album below: