I think there is no need to explain Marcus Miller in detail. Jazz fans of my generation knew and admired the musician in his roles as composer-performer-producer in Miles Davis and David Sanborn projects. The potion that enabled Davis to come out of a barren period and meet the audience again was largely mixed by Miller.
The bassist’s fame in the jazz world has never diminished since those years. Miller, one of the favorites of Istanbul, met with the audience on Tuesday evening, October 31, after a six-year break. The band included Russell Gunn on trumpet, David Chiverton on drums, Donald Hayes on saxophone and Julian Pollack on keyboards. They played to a crowd of approximately 2,500 people in an almost full venue. There was an atmosphere of excitement as we waited in line at the entrance to the concert; I felt like we were in an environment that included the musician’s die-hard fans.
When we look at the archive of one of our writers, Beran Paçacı, we see that the concert at Volkswagen Arena is the musician’s eleventh performance in Istanbul in the last thirty years. I remember watching at least four of them. The first Open Air meeting, The Istanbul Project and the concert played after the Afrodeezia album are the ones that immediately come to my mind. The Istanbul Project could not carry its claim to a permanent platform and was a bit disappointing in this respect. However, whatever the expectations, each of these concerts had elements that we could call enjoyable or meaningful.
This last concert we watched was one of Marcus Miller’s performances, which he has been performing for many years, almost like a rock band, without making any major innovations. In accordance with this framework, a playlist was determined to trigger interaction. Panther, Untamed, February, Detroit, Mr. Pastorius, Run For Cover, Gorée, Tutu, some of these are among my favorites and I guess they are among the most listened to by almost all Miller listeners. In this sense, I guess it was a satisfying concert, especially for those who saw the bassist live for the first time.
However, it should be noted that those who have followed Miller frequently may have felt a sense of déjà vu. Miller’s composition includes a melody that immediately captures the listener or a lilt that moves the listener in place, as well as layers that can lead to interesting expansions, especially in a live performance. There were no updates or surprises in this sense at this last concert. I’m saving my next choice for a project similar to 2011’s Tribute To Miles.