Miller spent the next few years as a top call New York studio musician, working with Aretha Franklin, Roberta Flack, Grover Washington Jr., Bob James and David Sanborn, among others. He has appeared as a bassist on over 400 CD's including recordings by artists as diverse as Joe Sample, McCoy Tyner,Mariah Carey, Bill Withers, Elton John, Bryan Ferry, Frank Sinatra, Me'shell Ndegeocello and LL Cool J.
In 1981, he joined his boyhood idol Miles Davis and spent two years on the road with the fabled jazzman. "He didn’t settle for anything mediocre," Miller recalls. "And this helped me develop my style. I learned from him that you have to be honest about who you are and what you do. If you follow that, you won’t have problems."
Miller subsequently turned his attention to producing, his first major production being David Sanborn’s Voyeur, which earned Sanborn a Grammy and turned out to be the beginning of a career-long partnership with the alto saxman. Miller later produced various other top selling albums for Sanborn, including Close Up, Upfront, and 2000 Grammy winner Inside.
For more than twenty years, Miller has also enjoyed a musical relationship with R&B legend, Luther Vandross. "We met in ’79 in Roberta Flack’s band and instantly connected because we were both so serious about music," Miller recalls. Over the years, Miller has contributed countless hits to Vandross’ repertoire both as a producer and writer. Those songs include "Till My Baby Comes Home," "It’s Over Now," "Any Love," "I’m Only Human" and "The Power of Love," which won the 1991 Grammy for R&B Song of the Year.
In 1986, Miller collaborated again with Miles Davis, producing the landmark Tutu album, the first of Davis three albums he would produce. He’s also produced Al Jarreau, the Crusaders, Wayne Shorter, Take 6, Chaka Khan, and Kenny Garrett among others, and is currently in the studio working again with Luther Vandross and trumpeter Michael "Patches" Stewart.
After spending many years as a producer and session musician, Miller focused on his solo career in late 1993 with the release of The Sun Don’t Lie. 1995’s Tales found Miller re-imagining the landscape of Black music and its evolution over the past three decades. After years of touring and in response to Miller fans’ pleas, Live & More was released in 1997.
M2 ("M-squared"), his first release of the new millennium, won the 2001 Grammy for Best Contemporary Jazz Album and was selected by Jazziz as one of the 10 Best CD’s of the Year. 3 Deuces Records now debuts The Ozell Tapes: The Official Bootleg, a live double CD. The Ozell Tapes is Miller’s compilation of the best of his 2002 tour dates. The 2 CD set is raw, unadulterated, pure funk as only Marcus can do it.
In the past several years, Miller has also turned his attention to film scoring, composing for House Party (Martin Lawrence), Boomerang (Eddie Murphy and Halle Berry), Siesta (Ellen Barkin), Ladies' Man (Tim Meadows), and The Brothers (Morris Chestnut and D.L. Hughley). He wrote and produced the old school hit, "Da Butt" for Spike Lee’s School Daze soundtrack. Miller further surprised people by composing and performing the score to E.B. White’s The Trumpet of the Swan. "I loved getting the opportunity to use jazz to tell a story to kids. Children have much more sophisticated ears than people give them credit for. You really don’t have to play down to them. Just keep the music real."
"I like to keep things balanced, combining R&B, jazz, funk and movie stuff to help reflect what’s happening in our world. I just try to keep challenging myself to continue to grow and get better."
Artist Management: Bibi Green