I have had the great honor of meeting Herbie Miller who, amongst many other achievements in his career, managed Peter Tosh and now is the director/curator at the Jamaica Music Museum, (FB page) part of the famous and historical Institute of Jamaica. (An article in the JA Gleaner: 10 Things About Herbie Miller.)
With Herbie Miller
Herbie is a MUSIC HEAD....not just reggae by any stretch of the imagination, but he loves JAZZ...and I mean good jazz, deep jazz, spirit jazz. He has worked with some of the absolute greats of that idiom and served as a catalyst for many cross polinations between music and musicians from Jamaica and American jazz. For example, he introduced the legendary bass and drum dynamic duo of Sly and Robbie to people like Jack DeJohnette, Herbie Hancock and many others. The story goes that when Jack tried to pay what Sly was playing he threw his arms up in the air and said, “Sly, you’re playing it all BACKWARDS!!!” Jack couldn’t even do it at first but eventually got it. Thursday night Herbie rang me up and said let me take you to a jazz club in Kingston, the Alibi. Cool spot, nice stage and sound and some great musicians including the great pianist Ozou’ne. Here he is playing Bob's THE HEATHEN....nice interpretation. I was honored to be formally introduced by the club MC and I sat in an played Night in Tunisia and Ernest Ranglin's Surfin' and the bassie and drummie kicked it quite well...of course, ask a Jamaican to play a reggae 'chune and watch out! Herbie was quite appreciative to hear something that dug a bit deeper into the jazz realm with Tunisia.
On many of the concrete barriers around the city there are all kinds of paintings of reggae musicians, sports stars, cultural icons and more. This one was of particular note: Bob...GOD.
These 10 BLOG posts are from my amazing trip to Jamaica where I was conducting research for the Newbury Comics Faculty Fellowship grant I received (from Berklee College of Music, where I am associate professor of piano and teach a class on Bob Marley) to produce a reggae education video.