John Miller | Stage Door Johnny: John Miller Takes on Broadway

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Stage Door Johnny: John Miller Takes on Broadway

by John Miller

Re-imagining of Broadway classics - show tunes that sound fresh, new and invigorating.
Genre: Pop: Pop/Rock
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  Song Share Time Download
1. Why Can't You Behave?
3:21 $0.99
2. Wouldn't It Be Loverly?
4:13 $0.99
3. Hey There
4:14 $0.99
4. Ol' Man River
4:39 $0.99
5. I Won't Grow Up
2:44 $0.99
6. Fugue for Tinhorns
2:50 $0.99
7. Real Live Girl
2:53 $0.99
8. I Can't Say No
3:19 $0.99
9. Hernando's Hideaway
4:24 $0.99
10. We Kiss in a Shadow
2:37 $0.99
11. Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin'
3:32 $0.99
12. Secret Love
2:43 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
John Miller is a spontaneous, instinctual musician – natural, unpretentious, witty, sincere and surprisingly affecting.

Everybody on Broadway knows him as the theater’s preeminent contractor for musicians in pit orchestras, recordings, films, concerts, and other events. What some people don’t know is that Miller is one of the busiest freelance bass players in New York who has played and recorded with an unbelievable cast of characters.

Here is an extremely shortened list of them – many of whom, no doubt, have helped shape his personal playing and singing style along the way: P. Diddy, Leonard Cohen, Michael Jackson, Smashing Pumpkins, Frank Sinatra, Madonna, Art Garfunkel, Aerosmith, Bette Midler, Bob Dylan, Celine Dion, B. B. King, Eric Clapton, Carly Simon, Tony Bennett, Luther Vandross, Diana Ross, Pete Seeger, Tommy Flannigan and the New York Philharmonic. That spanning of musical worlds and styles defines Miller. He is fluent in every musical vernacular.

Who know he sang and played the guitar?
We haven’t heard him sing since he appeared on stage in 1977 as a bassist/actor in Broadway’s I Love My Wife, for which he snared a Drama Desk Award. I still have an image of him in the bedroom scene, singing and plugging away at his bass, dressed in a nightshirt and nightcap with a bemused smile – utterly in character, but somehow spontaneously detached from the proceedings, like some displaced downtown Beatnik who found himself unaccountably in an uptown show.

This is a deeply personal album – one that reflects John’s individual take on some fabulous Broadway classics. It is so free and easy, so funny and engaging that it constantly reveals new delights with each rehearing.

The selections on Stage Door Johnny are brilliantly realized by the choices of unpredictably wonderful and ironic musical styles in which each is played. “Oh, What a Beautiful Morning” becomes as new and fresh and heartfelt as if it were written just yesterday. “Wouldn’t It Be Loverly” becomes utterly reincarnated from the ‘50s show tune to a kind of personal and timeless ballad that could have been created by great troubadours like James Taylor or Carol King.

It’s wonderful to see John return full blown to his performing routes with extraordinary arrangements that are uniquely his own warm and original musical personality.
If you love music, you’re bound to love this album.

- Maury Yeston
Maury Yeston is the Tony Award-winning composer and lyricist of Nine, Titanic, Phantom and Grand Hotel.

By John Miller:
I am a freelance bass player in New York City. I’m also a Music Coordinator : that means I help assemble orchestras for Broadway shows, recordings, TV, films and other events that call for musicians to be hired here and around the country.

When I’m through wheeling my base around the city and my work as a music coordinator is over, I make my way home late at night and leaving the base up in the living room corner. My wife and I dog are asleep. The night is peaceful. And I am up.

When the dust settles for me, I pick up the guitar, the Martin my parents gave me when I was 12. I turn on the TV to watch a movie, anything, and begin to play. Nothing in particular, just some chords, or some fragmented lines. Gradually, they begin to morph into a groove. The groove always comes first, and then would lead me towards one of those great Broadway classics. Then, the arrangement evolved from there.

I love each of these songs, but I feel as though I didn’t actually pick them, they somehow pick them selves. Each one surfaced from down deep in my earliest memories and affections and kept me and the Martin company with late night, relentlessly seductive guitar grooves.

And that’s how the CD came to be over a ten-year period. I’m known as a bass player, but I’ve always been drawn to instrumentalists who sings. My heroes - Mose Allison, Antonio Carlos Joubin, and Chet Baker - our great inspirations to me. In the spirit of that tradition, I sing.

I’m lucky to have spent my whole life working with musicians. I’ve never met one who didn’t love what he or she did. I love playing with them, hanging with them, eating with them, commiserating with them, asking their advice, hiring them, howling uncontrollably with them and caring about them. But most it is the pure joy of making music with them. That’s the best. It was important for me to surround myself with those I’ve known for most of my musical life and with whom I’ve played endless gigs.

I’m lucky that guitarist David Spinozza joined me to help cope produce and arrange. I’ve always had a deep respect for his musicality and especially his sense of righteousness. I wanted someone who’s a musical soul was in sync with mine and someone who’s ears I trusted, that made Spinozza an easy choice.

Of all the great recording engineers in New York City, Michael Golub was the perfect match, and his skills and ideas were invaluable. Frank Dickinson also engineered and was yet another tremendous support with a trusted set of ears.

In making the CD, I had no agenda, no artistic “concept.” I simply approached the music as honestly as I could. Although to tell the truth, I don’t think I was capable of producing these great Broadway classics any differently. That helped.

I’d like to believe the joy we had in making this CD comes through, because I had one goal only: for me to love every note of music. And at the end of the day, when the dust has settled, what could be better than that?



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