• Nate Holder

B's River - Marcus Miller

Marcus Miller is not only one of the best known bass guitarists in the world, but an accomplished multiinstrumentalist and soundtrack composer and producer. Amongst his many career highlights include producing and composing for Miles Davis, scoring music for the film Boomerang (1992) starring Eddie Murphy and playing the bassline for Luther Vandross' timeless 'Never Too Much' (1981). The titles of his last two albums Afrodeezia (2013) and Laid Black (2018) also give you an indication as to how he seeks to infuse his music with musics that he encounters around the world, and his own heritage.


In this clip taken from his performance the North Sea Jazz Festival in 2015, he begins the song playing an instrument given to him while he was on tour in Morocco. The Gimbri, (also spelt Guembri) or Sintir is a 3 stringed guitar sized instrument which works in a similar way to the banjo.

  • What do the vocals and Gimbri do?

  • How is the timbre of the Gimbri different to a bass guitar?

  • What is the device Marcus Miller has at the end of the Gimbri?

  • Which instruments can you see the percussionist have around him?

  • How would you describe the texture at the beginning?

  • What does the guitarist do at 12:43?

  • How many other instruments do you know from North Africa?

©2020 by Nate Holder