Most of the mid to late 70’s saw the departure of the great Miles Davis from the music scene. Drug and alcohol problems, health issues, and a myriad of other factors all contributed to Miles’ self imposed exile. However in early 1980 Miles put out a call to his long time friend and world class drummer, Al Foster. Miles wanted Al to round up the baddest young musicians in New York and put a band together for his comeback. Al grabbed a 20yr old bass player from Jamaica Queens, NY named Marcus Miller. Along with Marcus Al recruited sax man Bill Evans and guitar phenom Mike Stern. They added percussionist Mino Cinelu and Miles’ new band was born. The band went into the studio and cut a record called “Man With The Horn”. The band later toured the US and Japan and an even better record came out of that called “We Want Miles” but I digress.
Miles had nicknames for all the players in his band and guitarist Mike Stern’s moniker was “Fat Time” due to the fact that Mike had a weight problem at the time.
So the story goes that in the studio Miles told his young band to lay down something funky, something Fat as it were. Well Marcus de-tuned his 4 string ’77 Jazz Bass’ E string all the way down to low C! This was way before 5 and 6 strings were around. The groove was called “Fat Time” and it’s Marcus’ bass part that is transcribed here. So de-tune your 4 strings down to low C and keep it nice and Fat or if you prefer Phat. Enjoy.
Please click on the 3 images below to view the transcription of Marcus Miller’s Killer Bass Line, “Fat Time”