You and the Night and the Music

Russ Miller

Dynamic arrangements of classic big band with vocals, featuring swing, ballads and latin grooves.

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The Dance Eternal: The Dance of Life

Russell Miller

Eight tracks of original jazz that reflect many facets of the dance we all participate in: "The Dance Eternal - The Dance Of Life."

The music features flute, saxophones, bass clarinet, flugelhorn, piano, bass, drums and percussion. Each track conveys a thought on one of the many facets of life. Joy, reflection, angst, celebration, humor, humility, pleasure and memories are explored through the compositions, arrangements and the beautiful performances of the musicians who brought their offerings to the "Dance."

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Suite Justice - A Jazz Setting of the Beatitudes

Russell Miller

Original jazz music setting of the text of the Beatitudes that has been arranged for big band and vocal chorus

A suite of eight pieces representing each of the beatitudes from Matthew (5:3-10) wherein the strengths of the Concert Chorus and the Jazz Big Band are combined in a presentation of original jazz compositions that reflect the composer’s thoughts and feelings about these teachings. The rhythm and inflection of the text of each of the beatitudes suggests a melodic shape and song form that allows for musical expression of the idea. Employment of a wide range of musical textures – a Capella chorus, vocal soloists, chorus with jazz band, full jazz band, small ensemble and jazz soloists – provide variety from piece to piece while the treatment of the text assists in maintaining continuity.

The Pieces:

  1. Poor In Spirit – "Blessed are the poor in spirit, theirs is the kingdom of heaven."
    Latin jazz inspired by the music of Chick Corea and Herbie Hancock. Features an extended piano solo.

  2. Those Who Mourn – "Blessed are those who mourn, they shall be comforted." A 24 bar blues in a pseudo gospel style. Features a Capella chorus, a soprano vocal solo and a tenor saxophone solo.

  3. The Meek – "Blessed are the meek, they shall inherit the earth." A medium-tempo jazz waltz with shades of Oliver Nelson. Features an extended trumpet solo.

  4. Hunger and Thirst – "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, they shall be filled." Afro-Cuban jazz and swing a la Tito Puente. Features an alto sax solo.

  5. The Merciful – "Blessed are the merciful, they shall obtain mercy." An up-tempo swing based on Juan Tizol’s “Caravan.” Features a Capella chorus and a tenor sax solo.

  6. Pure in Heart – "Blessed are the pure in heart, they shall see god." Based on Bach Prelude No. 1 in C Major BWV846. A tenor sax and electric bass counter-melody woven into Bach’s classic prelude.

  7. The Peacemakers – "Blessed are the peacemakers, they shall be called the sons of god." A light, “half time feel” swing. Features a tenor vocal solo and a guitar solo.

8.The Persecuted – "Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake, theirs is the kingdom of heaven." Inspired by Billy Strayhorn’s “Lotus Blossom,” a melancholy tune with a Basie-style twist. Features an alto sax solo.

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Two for the Road

Jeannine and Russ Miller

Jazz with style and swing travels the globe in romantic cafe's from Brazil to Cuba with haunting sounds of love. A slow hot simmer of Latin beats and sizzling horns with sultry songs of life.

"Two For The Road", a breathtaking CD featuring two of Detroit's finest jazz musicians: vocalist Jeannine Miller and her husband saxophonist, flutist, arranger, composer and educator Russ Miller. ”Two For The Road” is the realization of this musical couple's effort to produce a recording together that showcases their respective talents. Russ and Jeannine are recognized throughout Southeast Michigan for their individual musical accomplishments; Russ Miller is highly regarded as a magnificent jazz alto saxophonist and Jeannine Miller is well loved for her warm, personal and intimate vocal style. When they join forces they lift each other up to even greater musical heights.

Russ’ diverse, inventive arrangements, from rockin’ big band to intimate strings, provide the background for Jeannine’s lush treatment of classic jazz standards as well as some often overlooked gems from the likes of Henry Mancini, Sergio Mendez, Harold Arlen, Irving Berlin and others. Combined with thoughtful solos from Russ and supporting cast, this recording provides a broad spectrum of listening adventures.

Jeannine Miller has been performing as a featured vocalist in the Detroit area for 25 years, and most notably with long time musical partner and pianist Vince Shandor for the past 13 years. She was initially poised for a career as a classical saxophone soloist, studying with Donald Sinta and Larry Teal at the University of Michigan. Jeannine’s professional performances are varied and eclectic and include experience with saxophone quartets, pit orchestras, jazz big bands, symphony bands and orchestras. She toured South America and Mexico as a featured soloist with the MYI Symphonic Band, and later toured the Peoples’ Republic of China with the Wayne State University Symphonic band. Her parents, both members of the Michigan Opera Theatre orchestra and the Flint Symphony Orchestra, were an important influence on her career in music.

In the early 1980’s, Jeannine discovered her love for the great jazz vocalists, particularly Sarah Vaughn, Nancy Wilson, Anita O’Day and local favorite Ursula Walker. As a result, she began a career as a jazz vocalist. Since then, she has performed at many of the Michigan Jazz Festivals, the top Jazz clubs in the Detroit area, and with some of the best musicians in the region. Bassist Paul Keller, trumpeter Dwight Adams, pianist Matt Michaels, drummer Jerry McKenzie, trumpeter Marcus Belgrave, bassist Ron Brooks, drummer Pete Siers, saxophonist George Benson, vibists Jack Brokensha and Rob Pipho are but a few of the many talented people she regularly works with.

Russ Miller is currently an Assistant Professor of Jazz Studies at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. Formerly lead alto sax with the J.C. Heard Orchestra, he has had the opportunity to perform with jazz luminaries Dizzy Gillespie, Buddy DeFranco, Rob McConnell, Jon Faddis, Joe Williams, Milt Hinton, Rosemary Clooney and Sammy Davis Jr. among others. Russ has also accompanied various national entertainers such as Andy Williams, The Four Freshmen, The Four Tops, Robert Goulet, Aretha Franklin, Johnny Mathis, The Temptations and Martha Reeves. In addition Russ is called upon to perform with local artists, in pit orchestras and shows, and with his own quartet. He can be heard on recordings with the J.C. Heard Orchestra on “Some of This, Some of That” (Hiroko Records) and with jazz organ master Bill Heid on “Wet Streets” (Savant Records). Russ is also sought out as an adjudicator and clinician and is active as an educator in and around the Detroit area.

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Jeannine with the Vince Shandor Trio

Jeannine Miller

Jazz vocals

Jeannine Miller with the Vince Shandor Trio brings the magic and spontaneity of a live performance to this recording.

You can hear every nuance and emotion from beginning to end.

This versatile ensemble have captured their sophisticated sound and together weave a memorable evening of enchanting songs and warm moods.

You will find yourself listening to this recording over and over again.

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