George Duke – Marcus Miller – David Sanborn To Lead Band For Scorching Summer Tour!

Posted on 2011-06-23.

Three Legends of Jazz Funk Fusion To Tour U.S.
For First Time As Unit – Sponsored by Jazz Cruises

Fans of the crossroads where funk and jazz intersect mark your calendars for an explosive concert package coming this summer. Keyboard wizard George Duke, bass master Marcus Miller and saxophone sorcerer David Sanborn are pooling the essence of their collective musical excellence as DMS. Each a leader and composer in his own right, these legendary men will be gifting the masses with extra long sets of ferocious funk, serious jazz, to-the-bone blues and, basically, anything they feel like playing that night. This one-of-a-kind U.S. Tour – beginning in May at the House of Blues in Orlando, Florida – will be sponsored by Jazz Cruises, producer of The Jazz Cruise and The Smooth Jazz Cruise.

It was Michael Lazaroff at Jazz Cruises who thought it would be a great idea to bring the all-star music party at sea that Miller and Sanborn have been co-hosting and Duke has been a frequently featured guest to jazz fans on land. It was two-time Grammy-winner Miller who connected with both Duke and Sanborn in the late `70s during his early days as an A-list session musician in New York City. “I first played with Dave in the ‘Saturday Night Live’ house band, went on the road with him, wrote songs for his Voyeur album and eventually produced many of his records,” he states. “I first worked with George when he produced The Brecker Brothers’ 1980 album Detente, but because he worked more on the west coast, our paths didn’t cross in a major way until 1985. He wrote a song for Miles Davis titled ‘Backyard Ritual’ that inspired both Miles to move into a more contemporary direction and me to write Miles more songs for that album – including the title track ‘Tutu’ – which became his last signature recording.”

Six-time Grammy-winner Sanborn provided the other key connection via his acclaimed television program “Night Music” in the `80s. Miller was the Musical Director for season 1 and Duke was the MD for season 2. The crux of that show was bringing outstanding musicians together from all styles and genres, creating a melting pot of aural delight that was as enlightening as it was enjoyable. That all started for Sanborn the first time he saw The Ray Charles Orchestra after a basketball game as a teenager. “That music was everything to me,” he told NPR. “It combined Jazz, Gospel and R&B. It wasn’t any one of those things but all of them. That, to me, is the essence of American music.”Sanborn went on to become one of the most sought after saxophonists for 16-bar straight-to-the-heart solos for everyone from Stevie Wonder and the Rolling Stones to Linda Ronstadt and Michael Franks.

It is that effortless and ingrained versatility that bonds Duke, Miller and Sanborn. Duke’s resumé extends from alto sax giant Cannonball Adderley to eccentric rock and roll genius of Frank Zappa with Stanley Clarke, Dianne Reeves and Deniece Williams in between. Likewise, Miller has the distinct honor of having his compositions immortalized by not just Miles Davis and David Sanborn but also the late, lamented soul star Luther Vandross, playing on R&B classics such as “Never Too Much” and co-composing and co-produced others such as “Power of Love/Love Power.” All three of these music masters are critically acclaimed, commercially successful and professionally in-demand, in possession of unlimited capacities in all styles of music. Now they are bringing it all together for a once-in-a-lifetime DMS Tour.

“Dave and I already had plans to reunite after being away from each other for a while,” Miller states. “When we were thinking of adding a third person and our booking agent suggested George Duke, Dave and I looked at each other, like, ‘Is that possible? Is he available? Let’s do it! The three of us had the chance to play together in January on the Smooth Jazz Cruise and the vibe was great. Now we’re looking forward to seeing where else we can take the music.”

Two-time Grammy-winner George Duke sums up the possibilities of this super Soul-Jazz summit that is DMS. “You know, the amazing thing is that we have not done this before now. Each one of us in some way has changed the musical landscape. Now we are bringing this mountain of experience together to move and change it again. For me, the great thing is that we have such a wealth of musical knowledge, experience and history to choose from. More important is for us to take that wealth and formulate a fresh identity of who we are now – as a band – from this time forward. Accomplishing that will be the stuff of legend!”

Posted on Marcus Miller’s Facebook Page