DMS – Live in Portland – Duke – Miller – Sanborn
DMS – Live in Portland
Duke – Miller – Sanborn
August 13, 2011 – Roseland Theater
S. H. Watkins, Sr.

Performing under the moniker DMS, George Duke, Marcus Miller and David Sanborn are bringing their masterful blend of talent, skill and… well, more talent to your town. If you get a chance to go, be sure and attend this wonderful, musical, jamming party. Accompanied by a drummer and keyboardist the three jazz masters put on a short, but intense, show at the Roseland in Portland. Not too short, but I’d have liked to hear another few hours.

Covering tracks written by all three artists, sometime written for one another, the group performed favorites like the Clark/Duke project bestseller “Sweet Baby”, Miles Davis’ “Tutu” and Sanborn hits “Lisa” and “Chicago Song”. 

David sanborn started out in the ‘leader’ role, but that baton was passed around every few songs. Sanborn’s playing was energetic and right on the lick every time. At one point (the end after the end when they came back) he even sang the words while performing the hip-hop hit “Doin’ the Butt.’  Yeah, they finished with a totally non-jazz song, but the crowd was completely owned by that point.

Marcus Miller was at his extra funkiest for the small but appreciative crowd. Some argue about who the best living bass player is, but there is no doubt that Marcus Miller is the Funkiest bass player on the planet, and he showed his stuff whether carrying the bottom with his bass or out front playing bass clarinet on “Cobra.” At one point he morphed from a Sanborn tune to some classic Parliament and the crowd followed along, then he dropped right back into the tune on the mark.  I gotta mention ‘Tutu” again because that was the major track of the night with Marcus popping and playing his bass over Sanborn horn licks and Duke’s snapping keys. The crowd went wild every time Miller soloed, working that bass till it growled and popped with pleasure and funk.  (Marcus is the baddest bass player alive if you ask me.)

George Duke is a character. When the spotlight rolled his way on the slow tracks his keyboard danced and dazzled. When he was out front doing a call and answer with the crowd on the ultra-phatt “Dukey Stick” he was at his peak, smiling and dancing and kicking the Dukey out of the crowd. In places George was straining to hit his falsetto tracks, but knew when to try and when to do the falsetto parts in his singing voice. Crowd didn’t seem to notice or mind the variation. It is hard to overstate how good George Duke is in concert, playing the lead or playing off another’s lead. Whatever you have heard about his performances, he’s better.

These three guys are responsible for HUNDREDS of hit songs over the last 15 years, as well as a number of TV themes and movie soundtracks. If they come within 100 miles of YOUR town, you should go. Best concert I’ve been to in the last 10 years.


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