You might not know it but you've probably been listening to a lot of Marcus Miller.
If you listen to Michael Jackson, Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, McCoy Tyner, Frank Sinatra, Aretha Franklin, Elton John, Bill Withers... he wrote a Miles Davis album? You've probably been listening to Marcus Miller.
Miller is seemingly a relentless tour machine that also manages a beefy bass-oriented record every few years as well. He's in Finland now - right now - finishing up a huge selection of dates across western Europe before he get back to the US for literally about thirty shows in January and February. I discovered this guy on Youtube (sometimes people do actually watch suggested videos) and he and his selected talented few absolutely blew me away. Everything was ridiculously tight for start - Sput from Snarky Puppy slayed the drum kit - the energy came through my speakers and dared me to stop watching. Miller is a prolific songwriter and the hour long set was a beautiful arrangement start to finish - although there were distinct songs or compositions the flow was perfect and each piece was like an eclectic pop song of (jazz?) groove based bass slapping atmospheric goodness.
Although Miller is probably known as a jazz musician, what he writes doesn't really fit anywhere. Or, it fits everywhere. The bass itself is prominent, slap in particular, but it's a mixture of all kinds of styles and nothing sticks out. On a recent record he wrote several rap songs, there are more standard solo oriented jazz tunes and then there are African influenced rhythmic compostions.. Miller has worked with them all and does it all and what is more, does it tastefully and feels the music. He can play as many notes as you could want and occasionally he does but the real skill I admired was the arrangement and ability to put together a killer group of musicians. Although you've probably already heard him no matter what jazz you're into, I'd urge anyone to check this guy out in a little more depth. He hits the US live for a few months starting January next year, check out his website below to make sure you're not missing out.