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Bassist Marcus Miller Surrounds Himself With New Generation of R&B Stars on 'Marcus'

Although bass guitar sensation Marcus Miller has played on more than 500 albums as a session musician, his recent claim to fame is his success as a bandleader. As VOA's Doug Levine tells us, Miller is surrounded by a new generation of R&B stars on his latest release, "Marcus."

For years, Marcus Miller was known as the "Bassist to the Stars," playing alongside Miles Davis, Elton John, Frank Sinatra, and Luther Vandross, to name a few. But, since 2002, when he took home his first-ever Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Jazz Album, Miller has focused mainly on his solo efforts.

At the helm of "Marcus," 48-year-old Miller crosses multiple musical borders, alternating between funk on Stevie Wonder's "Higher Ground," jazz by Miles Davis, the pop standard "When I Fall In Love," and an R&B hit by Deniece Williams, featuring Grammy-winning vocalist Corinne Bailey Rae.

Also featured are vocalist Lalah Hathaway, actress-singer Taraji Henson, hip-hop star Shihan The Poet, and bluesman Keb' Mo'.

Miller, who also plays bass clarinet, keyboards and guitar on the album, is an accomplished songwriter, as we hear on this original titled "Strum."