Mojo (Publisher) - 9/01, p.107
"...A typically meticulous, intelligent and atmospheric collection of bass-fed funk..."
Personnel includes: Marcus Miller (vocals, alto & tenor saxophones, B-flat & bass clarinets, vibraphone, Fender Rhodes piano, Wurlitzer electric piano, organ, Clavinet, synthesizer, acoustic & electric guitars, acoustic, electric & fretless basses, programming, scratches); Raphael Saddiq, Djavan, Chaka Khan (vocals); Branford Marsalis, Wayne Shorter (soprano saxophone); Kenny Garrett, Maceo Parker (alto saxophone); James Carter (tenor saxophone); Michael "Patches" Stewart (trumpet); Fred Wesley (trombone); Hubert Laws (flute); Herbie Hancock (piano); Paul Jackson Jr. (acoustic & electric guitars, dobro); Hiram Bullock (guitar); Lenny White, Poogie Bell, Vinnie Colaiuta (drums); Mino Cinelu (percussion).
Engineers include: Marcus Miller, David Isaac, Khaliq-O-Vision.
Principally recorded at Hannibal Studios, Santa Monica, California.
M2 won the 2002 Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Jazz Album.
An album dedicated to the memory of crossover saxophonist Grover Washington, Jr., M2 blends jazz with R&B, pop-rock, and funk. The result is very much like Washington's own '80s and '90s releases. Bassist Miller employs a cornucopia of instruments on this release, from clarinets to distorted guitars, synthesizers to drum machines. Three of the compositions, "Boomerang," "It's Me Again," and "Your Amazing Grace" include inspired vocal performances by Chaka Khan and others.
Still, M2 is a largely instrumental album, as Miller stretches the boundaries of multi-tracking by trying his hand at a host of instruments including some you might not expect. Piecing together various combinations of tenor sax, alto sax, and bass clarinet on nine of the album's 14 tracks, Miller demonstrates surprising skill as a horn player. In addition, he layers keyboard, guitar, organ, electronic drums, and various effects (vinyl scratches, etc.) into the music. Nevertheless, Miller is joined by fine soloists throughout the album, and a live rhythm section is heard on five tracks.