Mark Miller (trombone)

Primary Instrument: Trombone

Mark Miller (trombone)

Mark grew up in Racine, Wisconsin and attended nearby Carthage College. In 1992 he moved to Minneapolis to study at the University of Minnesota with Tom Ashworth and Ron McCurdy. An ever- present sound on the Twin Cities music scene in the 1990s, he played with and composed for Motion Poets, Slide Huxtable, Happy Apple, and Jeanay Say Qua. Mark also performed with the Latin Sounds Orchestra, Salsa Del Soul, and the Intergalactic Contemporary Ensemble.

Mark was a founding member of the jazz sextet Motion Poets, in which he and the other members each composed an eclectic repertoire of hundreds of pieces during their eight-year tenure (1993-2000). They recorded three albums: “Truth And Consequence”, “Standard Of Living”, and “Lose Your Mind And Come To Your Senses”. Motion Poets also traveled extensively, performing in 37 states and were featured at many jazz festivals, including: San Jose Jazz Festival, Iowa City Jazz Festival, Discover Jazz Festival, and the BYU Jazz Festival....
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Source: Samuel Chell, Senior Editor, All About Jazz

CD REVIEWS: The Motion Poets' ace trombonist, Mark Miller, returns from his New York City digs to reassemble his other band, Slide Huxtable, for a CD Release Party. The appropriately named “The Return Of Slide Huxtable” album co-stars underrated guitarist Bill Bergmann, and the omnipresent Bates brothers, Chris (bass) and J.T. (drums). The CD is intriguing, with stellar original chart writing (check out Miller's beautifully mournful “For J.J.,” in honor of all-time trombone hero, J.J. Johnson), abundant first-rate solos, and enviable group cohesion. Toss in some off-the-beaten-track cover choices -- “Whatever Lola Wants, Lola Gets” done up in reggae for example -- and Slide Huxtable's return proves welcome. --Tom Surowicz, Minneapolis Star Tribune

With a moniker borrowed from the trombone-wielding father of Bill Cosby's character on The Cosby Show, this mostly Minnesota jazz quartet plays with an authority that outstrips the superficiality of sitcoms, but would likely please jazz aficionado Cosby. The slide in question here is manned by Mark Miller, an erstwhile Minneapolitan who gigged with such locals as the Motion Poets and Happy Apple before departing for New York and regular employment with Broadway musicals. The band was launched almost a decade ago as an offshoot of the Motion Poets, with Miller (who was then still in town), guitarist Bill Bergmann, bassist Chris Bates, and drummer J.T. Bates, the last three with dozens of local and national credits on their stuffed musical résumés. This gig marks the release of the sporadic band's debut album, The Return of Slide Huxtable, a fine mix of originals and covers running the gamut from straight-ahead stuff to slithery funk, a reggae lurch through the old Broadway standard “Whatever Lola Wants Lola Gets,” and odd-metered ethereal excursions. Throughout, Miller's trombone sparks the sound with its gritty muscularity, while Bergmann infuses the pieces with an elegant array of ever- shifting vibes, and the two Bates conspire on rambunctious rhythmic variations. --Rick Mason, City Pages

Not only are today's local jazz groups often ignored by our young music bloggers, but the artists who stray outside bebop's boundaries are generally neglected by the older fans as well. Creative musicians can't win, but listeners can't lose with this enjoyably innovative quartet. Slide Huxtable is the brainchild of trombonist Mark Miller, with rhythm support from JT and Chris Bates. All three were members of vaunted '90s bop sextet Motion Poets. With the addition of pan-global guitar artist Bill Bergmann, they create a spacious, sensual bounce mixed with peaceful contemplations reminiscent of Miles Davis' In a Silent Way. This disc is beyond easy categorization, but never beyond comprehension.--Jim Meyer, Minnesota Monthly

INTERVIEW: Since moving to New York City, trombonist Mark Miller has spent only six months there in the last three years. What's he been up to? You know, the usual: performing with Gloria Gaynor, Doc Severinsen, Ernie Watts and a host of Latin musical artists. Most recently, he's completed a tour with “Movin' Out,” the Tony Award-winning dance musical choreographed and directed by Twyla Tharp and based on 24 Billy Joel songs. Miller welcomed the 8-shows per week schedule:

“I'm just glad I sort of made it. I'm in the black, and that's a beautiful thing,” he said. “This is my day job now. I spent years hearing people say I needed to get a job,” he added. “This is all I've wanted to do. I've always loved it.”--Sarah Hoye, MKE Magazine

2007 The Return of Slide Huxtable- Slide Huxtable # *
2007 El Medico de Coqui- Nicki Denner *
2007 This is Our Show- Bryan Steele
2006 Seven Steps To Havana- Seven Steps To Havana
2006 Cuban Voyage- Douglas Little
2006 Roadworks- Darren Holden
2002 Iroko- Luis Blasini and Iroko
2001 Tinctures Of Love- Jeanay Say Qua ^ *
2000 Enamorado De Ti- Latin Sounds Orchestra (arranger only) *
2000 Lose Your Mind & Come To Your Senses- Motion Poets # • “Best Jazz Recording” – Minnesota Music Academy
1999 Don't Just Stand There- Nicki Denner *
1999 Unseasonably Cool- Laura Schlieske
1999 Marriage At The Panopticon- Mark Sutton
1997 Standard of Living- Motion Poets # • Nominated “Best Jazz Recording” – Minnesota Music Academy
1995 Truth & Consequence- Motion Poets # • Nominated “Best Jazz Recording” – Minnesota Music Academy
# = Original Compositions * = Original Arrangements ^ = Co-wrote Songs and Lyrics

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