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Tales

4.8 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Audio CD, May 23, 1995
$44.97 $3.71

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Marcus Miller ~ Tales

Amazon.com

Marcus Miller has served as bassist, arranger, and producer for everyone from Luther Vandross to Miles Davis, and on his fourth solo album, Tales, Miller tries to reconnect the fractured fragments of African American music. He uses samples of recorded interviews with his older musical heroes to set up his own instrumental interpretations of that musical history. For example, spoken-word samples from Davis, Charlie Parker, and Billie Holiday lead into "The Blues," a midtempo blues groove that features both live drums and programmed drums, both jazzy horn lines from saxophonist Kenny Garrett and Larry Graham-like funk lines from Miller himself. The result is not jazz but R&B instrumentals with the sort of smarts and drama this genre rarely delivers anymore. Unlike so many fusion albums that settle for show off virtuosity over predictable grooves, Miller's Tales boasts thought-out compositions that bring together disparate elements in unexpected and rewarding ways. The title track, for example, which opens with a brief monologue by rapper Q-Tip, builds its catchy theme from a sample of the Pointer Sisters' "Yes, We Can Can," features Miller's inventive electric bass lines as the lead melody and then turns the song over to Michael Stewart's expert imitation of Davis' muted trumpet phrases. --Geoffrey Himes

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. The Blues
  2. Tales (Intro)
  3. Tales
  4. Eric
  5. True Geminis
  6. Rush Over
  7. Running Through My Dreams (Interlude)
  8. Ethiopia
  9. Strange Fruit (Intro)
  10. Strange Fruit
  11. Visions
  12. Tales (Reprise)
  13. Forevermore (Intro)
  14. Forevermore
  15. Infatuation
  16. Come Together


Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 23, 1995)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Pra Records
  • ASIN: B00000363W
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #135,580 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Marcus gets a little deeper and darker on 'Tales'. I love the interludes by all the cats; it adds depth to the musical experience. Since this album is more concept-based, its kind of unfair to pick out favorite tunes. However, 'Forevermore' may be the greatest Bass Guitar Ballad since Jaco did 'A Remark you Made' on Weather Reports' Heavy Weather LP. I mean, it just stays with you, its so hauntingly beautiful. 'Ethiopia' and 'Eric' also stand out, probably because he's using a different sounding bass. While the record doesn't seem to be necessarily geared towards radio formats, 'Tales' is a little more polished than 'The Sun don't Lie'; the tunes are more structured and laid back, and I do like that Bass Clarinet! Mature ears are probably best suited to hear this set of musical 'Tales'.
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Format: Audio CD
This album is a must have for all those people who love to hear thier sound systems rumble, but especially for those who love the bass guitar as an instrument. Compared to "The sun don't lie", this album is slightly more retro, but thats what I love about it. It has a very down home sound to it, and has some similar sounds in it to "Amandla" Infatuation is the most inspiring track to me and has the difinitive fretless sound.
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Format: Audio CD
The problem with most instrumental solo projects is that they are not usually all that interesting to non-musicians. Marcus has overcome that barrier with this, his finest, solo effort. Smooth, funky, sexy, entertaining, not to mention technically impressive, he plays many instuments besides bass. It is a theme album with short oral anectdotes about the history of black music woven between perfectly placed groove oriented musical statements. "Rush Over" is THE perfect make out song. A truely masterful demonstation of the electric bass taken to but rarely crossing the line of overplaying.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Does this guy ever stop creating? I hope not. Marcus builds magnificent musical stories from his life and own musical experiences that just transcend what we think is possible to hear; let alone from an electric bass. This album is no exception. Saw it performed live at the Montreal Jazz Festival years ago and was in awe at his virtuosity. This should be in your library.
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I wasnt aware of this CD by Marcus but as always he delivers. I particularly like Rush Over with Me'Schell but its nice to hear from Miles and everyone else who comments and collaborates The man is a creative genius
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Format: Audio CD
I didn't think it was possible for Miller to come close to the music created on his landmark initial PRA Records release "The Sun Don't Lie". Now being that I am the biggest Miles Davis and Stevie Wonder fan in the world (the album was a tribute to these two heroes of Miller), it would be hard to top "Sun" et,al, but Marcus Miller nearly pulls it off on this effort.
Once again surrounding himself with a stellar cast of musicians ranging from Kenny Garrett on Alto, Michael "Patches" Stewart on the Harmon muted trumpet (ala Miles Davis), Lenny White on Drums and Percussion, Jason Miles wonderful sound programming, Joshua Redman on Tenor Sax, and a smashing vocal by Me'Shell NdegeOcello on "Rush Over", just to name a few on this star-studded album and study in jazz' history and versatility. "Tales" is an attempt to explain the history and experience that IS jazz music. It's quite a successful attempt at that. This sophomore effort by Miller is yet another incredible recording in this journeyman bass players career. I can only hope he releases a "new material" album as soon as possible. My highest recommendation. Five Stars +
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Format: Audio CD
This guy is amazing, the quality of jazz he is putting out there is so deep, he has lots of great help, but he wrote the songs. "rush over" is a favorite. The sounds he makes on the bass, everything, the thumps, the plucks, slaps, this cd is well thought out jazz at it's best. Marcus Miller has a new fan. You can't help but turn the volume up. "infatuation" is so bad, as well as "tales". Right off the start from the first track, "the blues", JAMS. What a fantastic jazz cd that has it all, even when he slows it down, he still takes you deep. Also check out "the sun don't lie" his first release, more of the same funky jazz. If you love Victor Wooten or Louis Johnson, you will love Marcus Miller. He is so great, it sounds like there are 2 people playing on 1 bass guitar. This is jazz at it's best. You will enjoy this.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Strange Fruit.

This album has the best arrangement of Strange Fruit ever. Haunting, swampy, rainy, hot, southern, bass Clarinet. Has stuck with me for years. This album is pure genius.

There is some serious Bass Clarinet playing on this album. Totally original, funky, R and B, funk, rap, jazz, soul, blues, bass in your face, bass clarinet singing, great guest artists, Bill Cosby, Joe Sample, Miles Davis....

On my short list, if I am stranded on the proverbial Desert Island.
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