Steve Miller Raids Archives, Gets Jazzy
With a 30th anniversary edition of Steve Miller's "Fly Like an Eagle" due out this month, can the same treatment for its follow-up, "Book of Dreams," be far behind? Probably not, says Miller.With a 30th anniversary edition of Steve Miller's "Fly Like an Eagle" due out this month, can the same treatment for its follow-up, "Book of Dreams," be far behind? Probably not, says Miller.
"[The label] has mentioned it," the artist tells Billboard.com with a laugh. "We'll see how this one goes. I think it makes sense. It's a good time to do it right now while we're doing all this archival work and finding this stuff and it's fresh in our minds. But we just finished this one, so let me enjoy it for a summer before I start thinking about the next one."
The "Fly Like an Eagle" anniversary edition, due June 27 via Capitol, features three rare outtakes from the original album sessions, plus a DVD containing an interview with Miller and a concert taped in September 2005 in Mountain View, Calif., with guests Joe Satriani and George Thorogood. Miller says his archives also include recordings he made with blues greats Cannonball Adderly and James Cotton, as well as scores of live shows.
"There's so much of it that you have to wonder what do you do with all that stuff?" he says. "We're looking at all of it and trying to figure that out."
Meanwhile, Miller is preparing for his next recording project, a collaboration with the University of Southern California Jazz Band that will take place at the end of the month in Capitol Records' Studio A in Los Angeles. Miller performed with the ensemble in April and plans big band arrangements of some of his hits ("Living in the U.S.A.," "Fly Like an Eagle," "The Joker," "Nature Boy") as well as covers of songs by Stevie Wonder, T-Bone Walker and Bobby Blue Bland. He hopes to release it later this year or in the first half of 2007.
"These kids really surprised me," Miller says. "They've had classical training, jazz training, but they all play by ear, too. They can do blues. They can do jazz. They can do Nine Inch Nails -- anything they want to. Anything they hear, they can play it. Their ideas are fresh, their playing is energetic and they're control was amazing. I'm really looking forward to recording with them."