We have in memory images of artists that have become inseparable from a garment or an instrument. Angus Young’s schoolboy cap, Gene Vincent’s Blue Cap or the Fedora aimed at Gene Kelly’s head in Singin in the Rain! It will be the same for Marcus Miller with his hat, “Pork Pie hat”, forever screwed on his head, with his bass in natural extension of his arm. “I love this hat because it’s the same one that Lester Young wore, it’s a be-bop hat! When I had to pose with it for an album cover, I realized that I couldn’t appear bareheaded anymore.”
Hat became iconic through the standard, Good Bye Pork Pie Hat, composed by Charles Mingus, in 1959, in tribute to Lester Young. Marcus will cover it in his album M² in 2011 with a Grammy Award at stake!
Active activist against inequalities, he will be designated in 2013 by UNESCO, Artist for Peace which will reward his long-standing commitment. He will also become spokesperson for the project: The Slave Route.
“The history of slavery is a testament to our ability to overcome this vicissitude. It shows us that the world can be better. And that we can do more than just survive – we can move forward.”
The year 2023 marks Marcus’ return with his latest album, Laid Black released in 2018, in his luggage. The return of the child prodigy on the Marseille Jazz stage is not for us to dislike and on the evening of July 22 the warm wind of groove will blow generously.
Photo credit © Thierry Dubuc