Stage Door Johnny: John Miller Takes on Broadway

( 1 )

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - William Ruhlmann
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, ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - William Ruhlmann
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: 9/30/2008
  • Label: P.S. Classics
  • UPC: 803607086725
  • Catalog Number: 867
  • Sales rank: 149,294

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
Donald Downs Trombone, Trumpet
Glenn Drewes Trombone, Trumpet, Flugelhorn
Charlie Giordano Accordion
Kenneth Hitchcock Flute, Saxophone
Tony Kadleck Trombone, Trumpet, Flugelhorn
Karen Karlsrud Violin
Curtis King Background Vocals
Keith O'Quinn Trombone
Rob Paparozzi Harmonica
Chris Parker Drums
Shawn Pelton Drums
Roger Rosenberg Saxophone
David Spinozza Electric Guitar, Guitar (Nylon String)
Roger Squitero Percussion
Gordon Titcomb Dobro, Mandolin, Pedal Steel Guitar
Mineko Yajima Violin
Julie Eigenberg Background Vocals
Ted Baker 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
Cecelia Hobbs Gardner Violin
Frank Dickinson Percussion, Drums
William Duvall Background Vocals
John Benthal Tres
Jonathan Dinklage Viola
Kerry Linder Vocals
Lynne Cohen English Horn
Technical Credits
Cy Coleman Composer
Richard Rodgers Composer
Paul Shaffer Author
Jerome Kern Composer
Frank Loesser Composer
Jerry Ross Composer
Greg Calbi Mastering
Philip Chaffin Executive Producer
Bill Charlap Author
Don Sebesky Arranger
Sammy Fain Composer
Michael Golub Engineer
Oscar Hammerstein II Composer
Tommy Krasker Executive Producer
Alan Jay Lerner Composer
Cole Porter Composer
Marc Shaiman Author
David Spinozza Arranger, Producer
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
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Fresh and original takes on some Broadway classics

    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.

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