MARCUS MILLER – Ozell Tapes: The Official Bootleg CD (From World Tour)Live 2002

MARCUS MILLER – Ozell Tapes: The Official Bootleg CD (From World Tour)Live 2002


The ensemble is tight to the point of instinctual reaction, and on the covers it becomes obvious very quickly how well attuned the bandmembers are to Miller’s seemingly endless musical palette. There are readings of “I Loves You Porgy” and Talking Heads’ “Burning Down the House,” Joe Sample and Will Jennings’ “When Your Life Was Low,” Thom Bell’s “You Make the World Go Round,” and “Killing Me Softly” — all with stunning vocal appearances by the divine Lalah Hathaway. But the covers only show one side; on the band’s originals such as “Scoop,” “Panther,” and “3 Deuces,” the easy looseness is evident even though these cats play their asses off. Nowhere is this more evident than on the set’s final track, a medley of the Miller/Miles Davis-penned tunes “Hannibal,” “Tutu,” and “Amandla.” Miller pushes his bandmembers to play the same unexpected twists and turns Miles was famous for, tossing changeups into the mix at odd moments, moving a time signature, changing a groove, shifting an interval — and they respond without a seam. They make it gritty and beautiful, improvising with grace, aplomb, and grit. The Ozell Tapes proves that Marcus Miller is not a “smooth jazz” musician or a “fusion” musician or a “pop” musician; this proves he is a jazz musician who plays thoroughly modern, emotionally and intellectually satisfying electric jazz. If rhythm, subtle harmony, melody, a touch of funkiness, and a bucket of soul are your thing, then this is for you no matter what kind of music you listen to.
By Thom Jurek. AMG.
This is the Marcus Miller everybody always knew existed yet never really heard on record. This is the man who can play bass, saxophone, and bass clarinet, and also compose, produce, arrange, etc., and usually does so in a slick studio setting. The Ozell Tapes is reported to be an “official bootleg”; it’s official to be sure but it’s no bootleg. These are tapes from the band’s 2002 tour straight from the soundboard without any remixing. The tapes are not from a single show, however, but the best performances from the entire tour. It’s a small complaint, really, that it doesn’t have the complete languid feel of a single show, because this is easily the best record Miller has ever released. His combined talents come into focus in spontaneous settings, where he walks the tightrope between composed or covered material, and between arranged and improvised material. And the material: There are two sets, on a pair of CDs. The music vacillates between the sacred and profane, but it’s all from the heart of the groove. First there’s the jam “Power,” an early showcase of the band’s strengths, and it’s immediately followed by an elegant and emotionally played funked-up version of Miles Davis’ “So What,” with a two-piece horn section and Miller on electric bass turning the groove over and back accompanied by an atmospheric airy (à la “In a Silent Way”) piano. From here the band moves to John Coltrane’s “Lonnie’s Lament,” and turns it upside down into groove jazz meets gutter funk. The Coltrane vibe is replaced by something quite beautiful and lovely, and there is no irreverence in the interpretation.
Just want to let everyone know that we are releasing an ‘Official Bootleg CD’!
That’s right, someone is always releasing bootlegs on us so we decided to turn the tables and release one on ourselves!
There’s always somebody sneaking recording equipment into our shows, taping us and releasing unauthorized CD’s. They wear the mics under their shirtsleeves, inside their hats, in their shoes… whatever. As you can imagine, the sound quality is pretty bad (it’s hard to get clear sound through your hat!). So this time around, for the 2002 tour, I decided to beat the pirates to the punch!
We poured through the live mixing board recordings of all of our 2002 concerts, found the performances that we liked the best and put together ‘The Ozell Tapes’! We didn’t remix it or anything – it’s just the raw performances straight off the board. So it’s like a bootleg only better. It’s not just from one show either, it’s from the entire tour and there’s a lot of music, two CD’s worth.
This CD is for the die hard fans. If you enjoyed our show this year, this will definitely put you back in the vibe!
And if you enjoyed M2, I think it’ll be really interesting for you to hear how the tunes from that CD have matured and changed on the road.
I’m really happy with the way it turned out and I’m excited for everybody to hear it!
The Ozell Tapes! Dig it 🙂
By Marcus Miller. (September 17, 2002
Marcus Miller- Bass Guitar Fretless Bass Guitar Soprano Saxophone Bass Clarinet Keyboards;
Lalah Hathaway- Vocals;
Roger Byam- Tenor & Alto Saxophone, Flute;
Michael “Patches” Stewart; Bruce Flowers, Leroy “Scooter” Taylor- Keyboards ;
Dean Brown- Guitar;
Poogie Bell- Drums.

01. Intro (By Big Doug Empting) (1:07)
02. Power (6.03)
03. So What (8:51)
04. Lonnie’s Lament (10:51)
05. Cousin John (10:42)
06. Scoop (12:27)
07. I Loves You Porgy (9:26)
08. Panther (11:21)


01. 3 Deuces (11,69)
02. Your Amazing Grace (19,52)
03. Nikki’s Groove (9,28)
04. When Your Life Was Low (featuring Lalah Hathaway) (15,17)
05. Burning Down The House (11,98)
06. People Make The World Go Round (featuring Lalah Hathaway) (20,36)
07. Killing Me Softly (featuring Lalah Hathaway) (12,29)
08. Miles-Marcus Medley – Hannibal, Amandla,Tutu) (34,99)

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