|Mike Miller (Guitars, Keyboards, and Loops), Mitchel Forman (Keyboards), David Whitman (Keyboards), Bruce Fowler (Trombone), Jimmy Johnson (Bass), Peter Erskine (Drums), Tom Brechtlein (Drums), and Ralph Humphrey (Drums).
Mike Miller is a guitarist whose playing and writing communicates a stunning musical universe. While much is made of individuality and originality among musicians, Miller seems beyond those qualities: he is unlikely in the way he defies description. Consider that Miller has worked with jazz pianist Chick Corea, diva/comedienne Bette Midler, pop craftsmen Gino Vanelli and Burton Cummings, the Los Angeles Philharmonic New Music Group, british jazz-rock band Brand X, Wall of Voodoo's Stan Ridgeway, film composer and former Devo front man Mark Mothersbaugh, the Frank Zappa Banned from Utopia alumni band, and many others. This is a range of experience that challenges the imagination -- edgy spontaneity in Corea's electric jazz, slapstick "comedy guitar" with Bette Midler, and complex orchestration in the writing of Marc Anthony Turnage and Frank Zappa.
Then listen to his first solo CD, Save the Moon, which features Jimmy Johnson, Tom Brechtlein, Mitchel Forman, Peter Erskine, and Ralph Humphrey. The music on this CD reflects Miller's commitment to develop his own voice, which juggles a rich and wonderful contradiction of qualities: the raw excitement of the electric guitar with a technique that pushes the boundaries of the instrument, and a broad vocabulary with a mischievous sense of humor -- he might play a part a pianist would work out with two hands, or grace the end of a bebop phrase with a Chuck Berry lick and dip of the tremolo bar. Miller is a riveting improviser who can draw you to the edge of your seat as you follow one musical idea developing into another or bending through a series of unexpected twists and turns... and the results are complex, yet melodic and accessible. A simple path lies beneath the surface of all this activity, revealing a guitarist engaged in a playful search for constant musical growth.
In 1972 he moved to Colorado, where he met and played with guitarists Robben Ford, Bill Frisell, and Larry Coryell. Miller also hooked up with the Fowler Brothers (of Frank Zappa fame) and recorded the album FLY ON as the group Air Pocket, produced by Jazz great Oliver Nelson. In 1975, he relocated to Los Angeles, collaborating with Shawn Phillips, Bennie Maupin, Tom Scott, Alphonso Johnson, Brand X, and others. Miller began eleven years of touring and recording with progressive pop artist Gino Vannelli in 1981, and contributed the Grammy-nominated composition "Elamar" to the Yellowjackets' 1982 album Mirage a Trois. In 1986 he started The Outsidemen, releasing a live trio CD titled "Band Overboard."
Miller joined Chick Corea and the Elektric Band II in 1993 to record the Grammy-nominated album Paint the World and to tour the world for a year and one-half. Following his time with Corea, Miller began working in orchestral settings, performing the music of Frank Zappa as a member of Banned from Utopia (with the Seattle Symphony, the Portland Symphony and the Israeli Philharmonic), recording Joseph Curiale's guitar concerto with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, and performing as a soloist in the U.S. debut of Marc Anthony Turnage's Blood on the Floor with Sir Simon Rattle conducting the L.A. Philharmonic New Music Group.