Throughout his prominent and prolific career, Marcus Miller has been in the presence of greatness. From working with the masters at the height of their careers to leading today's phenoms towards their inevitable glory, Miller's legacy is an ever-expanding force in the face of music. With many familiar faces along his side, the bassist returned to Jazz at the Bistro to share his experience with six capacity crowds over three nights.
Backlit by a half dozen white discs ringed in a kaleidoscopic rainbow glow and wielding their instruments of psychedelic delight, Unknown Mortal Orchestra brought sounds to life that were less "down the rabbit hole" and more "up the tractor beam."
"I'm not dependent, I swear," said Monica Martin, sipping from what used to be a six-ounce glass of high-proof alcohol. As the night progressed, the banter of PHOX's lead singer devolved from hellos and song intros into ex-boyfriend stories punctuated with expletives, an argument about the definition of "skank" (which featured the statement "this is a group that wears a lot of plaid so this isn't an elitist thing"), and a handful of forgotten Blink-182 lyrics.
Last fall, Jazz St. Louis debuted the Ferring Jazz Bistro in the new Dorothy & Harold Steward Center for Jazz and has since welcomed 17 of the genre's finest to four night stays on their updated new stage.
"Does anyone know what day of the week it is?" singer Kevin Parker asked the crowd. "That's actually an honest question," he clarified, pointing to his bandmate, laughing. It was a clear indication that his band, Tame Impala, has been moving so fast that time is simply not on their radar.
The last time St. Vincent performed in St. Louis she supported the Black Keys. She was excellent. Without the heft of a headliner whose energy drooped lower than a basset hound's ears, Annie Clark was able to give the audience a piece of her self.
With their newly released and highly anticipated second album, "Sound and Color," Alabama Shakes have proven they are no one-trick-pony, following up their acclaimed debut, "Boys and Girls" with a new collection of songs that are at once a departure from and a further exploration of the roots rock and throwback soul sound they exploded onto the scene with just a few years ago -- driven by the force of lead singer/guitarist Brittany Howard's vocals, which range from achingly soulful crooning to hardcore belting.