Stage Door Johnny: John Miller Takes on Broadway

Stage Door Johnny: John Miller Takes on Broadway

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by John Miller
     
 

John Miller is a veteran New York session and backup musician whose bass playing has accompanied a who's who of pop, rock, jazz, and R&B stars dating back to the late '60s. He is also one of the major music contractors in New York, which is to say that, if you want to work in a Broadway pit band, or play on a commercial or a movie soundtrack, or get a job as a session…  See more details below

Overview

John Miller is a veteran New York session and backup musician whose bass playing has accompanied a who's who of pop, rock, jazz, and R&B stars dating back to the late '60s. He is also one of the major music contractors in New York, which is to say that, if you want to work in a Broadway pit band, or play on a commercial or a movie soundtrack, or get a job as a session or backup musician, he's the guy to see. (It would help if you were a member of Local 802 of the musicians union.) This is Miller's debut solo album, one on which he adds singing and acoustic guitar playing to his bass work. In his liner notes, he cites as his heroes Mose Allison, Antonio Carlos Jobim, and Chet Baker, "instrumentalists who sing," and his work here is in that vein. He has an agreeable, conversational tenor that is actually a cross between Allison and his unacknowledged primary vocal influence, James Taylor. (Fans of Michael Franks also will feel at home with this disc.) In fact, Miller's version of "Wouldn't It Be Loverly?" sounds so much like a Taylor performance, not only in the vocals but also in the folk-pop arrangement (think the Taylor cover of "Handy Man"), that it could fool listeners, at least at first. On "Why Can't You Behave?," the leadoff track, which has a jazzier arrangement, another instrumentalist who sings, John Pizzarelli, is recalled. The Latin influence comes in with a version of "Hey There" that sports some Spanish lyrics and a samba reading of "Real Live Girl," partially in Portuguese, with Kerry Linder acting like Miller's own personal Astrud Gilberto clone. As is suggested by the song titles, the Broadway influence appears through the material itself, all show tunes from the musical theater except for the closer, "Secret Love" (which is given a funky big-band arrangement), from the movie musical Calamity Jane. This is an enjoyable busman's holiday that may not presage a shift in career focus for an established musician already in his sixties, but that would support some club dates, the better for a busy music contractor to provide a little more work for his fellow musicians in and around Manhattan.

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Product Details

Release Date:
09/30/2008
Label:
P.S. Classics
UPC:
0803607086725
catalogNumber:
867
Rank:
178840

Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

John Miller   Primary Artist,Acoustic Guitar,Electric Bass,Vocals,Background Vocals,Fretless Bass Guitar,Acoustic Bass
Bob Dorough   Vocals
Janis Siegel   Vocals
Ralph MacDonald   Percussion
Vaneese Thomas   Background Vocals
Steve Armour   Trombone
Bashiri Johnson   Percussion
Mike Christianson   Trombone
Stephanie Cummins   Cello
Clint DeGanon   Drums
Margaret Dorn   Background Vocals
Donald Downs   Trombone,Trumpet
Glenn Drewes   Trombone,Trumpet,Flugelhorn
Larry Farrell   Trombone
Charlie Giordano   Accordion
Kenneth Hitchcock   Flute,Saxophone
Tony Kadleck   Trombone,Trumpet,Flugelhorn
Karen Karlsrud   Violin
Curtis King   Background Vocals
Bob Millikan   Trumpet
Keith O'Quinn   Trombone
Rob Paparozzi   Harmonica
Chris Parker   Drums
Shawn Pelton   Drums
Roger Rosenberg   Saxophone
David Spinozza   Guitar,Electric Guitar,Guitar (Nylon String)
Roger Squitero   Percussion
Gordon Titcomb   Dobro,Mandolin,Pedal Steel Guitar
Mineko Yajima   Violin
Julie Eigenberg   Background Vocals
Ted Baker   Piano,Trombone,Keyboards
Warren Odze   Drums
Rick Dolan   Violin
Antoine Silverman   Violin
Liuh-Wen Ting   Viola
Chuck Wilson   Flute,Saxophone
Dave Mann   Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone
Caryl Paisner   Cello
Clifford Carter   Keyboards
Helen Kim   Violin
Belinda Whitney   Violin,Concert Master
Laura Bontrager   Cello
Eric Degioia   Violin
Kevin Ceballo   Background Vocals
Laura Oatts   Violin
Dan Willis   Flute,Saxophone
Frank Dickinson   Percussion,Drums
William Duvall   Background Vocals
John Benthal   Tres
Jonathan Dinklage   Viola
Kerry Linder   Vocals
Lynne Cohen   English Horn
Cecilia Hobbs Gardner   Violin
Jeff Nelson   Bass Trombone
Charlie Alterman   Background Vocals
Helen Kim   Violin
Ella Rutkovsky   Violin
Debra Shufelt-Dine   Viola
John Miller   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Bass,Vocals,Background Vocals,Fretless Bass Guitar,Acoustic Bass
Fonzie Thorton   Background Vocals

Technical Credits

Cy Coleman   Composer
Richard Rodgers   Composer
Paul Shaffer   Author
Frank Loesser   Composer
Jerry Ross   Composer
Richard Adler   Composer
Philip Chaffin   Executive Producer,Audio Production
Bill Charlap   Author
Don Sebesky   Arranger
Sammy Fain   Composer
Michael Golub   Engineer
Oscar Hammerstein   Composer
Tommy Krasker   Executive Producer
Alan Jay Lerner   Composer
Cole Porter   Composer
Marc Shaiman   Author
David Spinozza   Arranger,Producer,Audio Production
Paul Francis Webster   Composer
Frederick Loewe   Composer
Robert E. Miller   String Arrangements,Woodwind Arrangement
Carolyn Leigh   Composer
John Miller   Arranger,Producer,Liner Notes
Bart Migal   Engineer
Frank Dickinson   Engineer
Kerry Linder   translation
Clifton Guterman   Editorial Coordinator
Mark "Moose" Charlap   Composer
Jeremy Kern   Composer
Robert Miller   Arranger
John Miller   Audio Production

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Stage Door Johnny: John Miller Takes on Broadway 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You don't have to be a Broadway fan to love this music. You don't even have to recognize these songs to enjoy them - though if you do, the radicalness of Miller's arrangements will stun you. Miller transcends genre to reinterpret these songs (most of them, interestingly, meant to be sung by women) in a very personal, slightly offbeat but always engaging manner. His arrangements are stunning; he weaves in Latin beats, pop, folk and country, a hint of reggae and even veers toward rock and hip-hop. And as for his voice... while he sounds like James Taylor's mellower twin on one song, in general he has a gentle twang and limited range that he employs very effectively - proof that you don't have to belt like a cookie-cutter American Idol in order to make people smile or move them to tears. Memorable Broadway songs have to have a killer melody and they have to move the plot along. John Miller, in taking these songs out of their larger context and putting a new musical spin on them, gives them a whole new dazzling life away from 42nd St. and Times Square.