Doppler radar got a run for its money in its efforts to keep up with the movement of the fast-moving storm that rolled in three of the mightiest thunder clouds of voice, keys and bass in the music business, along with their electrifying bands of young up-and-coming thunderbolts making their mark on the music scene. Rolling stealth, the devastating air mass of Jarreau, Duke and Miller, had already made its way toward Vienna, VA, where it stopped and hovered directly above the venue in the woods called Wolf Trap by the time radar could detect even a raindrop. There, an audience of cheering Rainbow Children - young and old – awaited them; ready to be drenched in the heavy downpour of Funk, Jazz, and Soul music they knew was sure to come. The Heavens opened up and Bass Master MARCUS MILLER and his band descended upon the stage in a fury which got the party on and poppin'!
“Marcus Miller Tutu Revisited Featuring Christian Scott,” a genius (and slightly more up-tempo) reworking of music he wrote, recorded and produced with the late, great Miles Davis, and performed by Marcus and his new band made up of gifted young lions in the game; and leading the charge was trumpeter and New Orleans native, Christian Scott, who was only a youngster when the original recordings were even made, but plays with a passion and confidence well beyond his years. Make no bones about it… the kid with the slightly upturned bell, can BLOW! Also, Alex Han was on sax, Louis Cato on the drums, and DC's own, Federico Gonzales Pena on keys. And of course, there’s band-leader, Marcus "Thriller" Miller, as fierce as ever -- whether performing the signature knock-out solo or laying back in the groove to give his hot young band their time to shine -- continuously worked the audience to a screaming frenzy, as he thumbed and plucked every melodic note he could get out of his bass.
The band opened the set with the lovely, "Tomaas", beginning with Christian’s solitary trumpet quietly calling on the spirit of Miles to stop on by and dwell among us if only for a little while. After a minute or two, the rest of the band joined in, providing the pathway of light showing his Spirit the way in. Next, "Splatch", a groove so funky, even Alex couldn't avoid jumping around while performing his solo, doing whatever was necessary to get the funk out! The hauntingly beautiful "Hannibal" and a jazzy/soul version of "Jean Pierre", with Alex blaring out yet another gut-bucket sax solo that brought the crowd to their feet, urging him to go, go, GO! After taking a tremendous beating, Marcus’ fender jazz was given a much-needed rest as he focused his attention on his bass clarinet, picking it up and blowing one beautiful note into the night that rocked the birds to sleep in the trees. It also signaled to the band to slow the tempo! Marcus commenced to walk the stage slowly, sweetly serenading the audience with a personal favorite, "When I Fall In Love". Marcus held the audience emotionally spellbound with the rich, deep song of his bass clarinet. It was a superb performance that deserved (and received) a standing ovation. Marcus ended his set with an encore of a slightly up-tempo "Tutu" that took nothing away from the beauty of the original recording.
All in all, it was triumphant “rebirth of the cool” by Marcus and his Young Guns who helped him present the music so brilliantly. Miles lives!
About the Writer
Holly Fountain is a music and concert enthusiast and an avid collector of vinyl and CD’s from the 60’s and '70s. In her spare time, she enjoys writing concert reviews in her own entertaining and unconventional style.