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Marcus Miller — Afrodeezia

August 16, 2015

There is so much more here with the new Marcus Miller release Afrodeezia than music. So much more. There are deep, profound messages, phrases, and realizations that only one who is in touch with the world of music as it relates to real life can convey. Miller Marcus Miller CDcontinues to be such an individual. Could it have come from his earlier musical experiences and thought process as he wrote and produced for others like David Sanborn and Luther Vandross? Maybe from even earlier years with the wise, outspoken, and profoundly observant Miles Davis? Is it simply an inherent part of Miller the man? At any rate, it is more than evident on this project.

He says about this project, “This music is a celebration of people’s ability to endure and overcome oppression, finding hope, meaning, and joy through music.” Beyond the other rather reflective and cerebral offerings lies the diverse and expressive music played here.

Rounding up musicians from West Africa, South America, the Caribbean, and the U.S., the soul and depth of this album is laid bare for all to witness. It is an album filled with beauty, color, exuberance, and the breath of history and character.

From the African-influenced rhythm of the lead track “Hylife” to the hymn-colored “Preacher’s Kid (Song for William H)” to a creative cover of The Temptations’ “Papa was A Rolling Stone,” (a hard truth story for so many) to his riveting and telling finale “I Can’t Breathe,” Miller has, with this album, struck new sensitivities and awakened those who may have been expecting the rousing and thunderous funk that he often offers us in his recordings and in live performances. Now, it’s time to combine the love for the man’s musical prowess with his knack for sound reflection…and go there with him while still appreciating the music that will never stop playing in each of us. – Ronald Jackson