Marcus Miller: B’s River

Marcus Miller has a new album out, but today’s video features a tune from his last one, Afrodeezia.

I was so intrigued by this 2015 performance at North Sea Jazz, thanks in large part to the instrumentation. Marcus describes the instrument – and the inspiration for the song – in the video description:

“My wife, Brenda, traveled to Ndola, Zambia to help build housing for families in need there. Despite extreme poverty and hardship, there was still a spirit of joy and love there that was profound. She said the land was overwhelmingly breathtaking. ‘B’s River’ is my musical depiction of a river she said was ‘too beautiful for words.’ I thought, ‘Well, if words can’t describe it, maybe music can.’ This tune begins with a Gimbri, (also spelled Guembri) an African ancestor to the bass guitar. I received it as a gift after a show in Morocco where we jammed with some musicians who play Gnawa music. Gnawa music features the Gimbri as one of the main sounds.”

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