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S.M.V. | “Thunder”

 

S.M.V.
“Thunder”
www.smvmusic.comThunder is the perfect title for this release from master bassists Stanley Clarke, Marcus Miller and Victor Wooten (heard of em’?!).  The disc begins with an epic orchestral mini-score by Stanley that could easily be used for the final battle scene in the next Hollywood epic and everything else is pure bass mastery.  This disc is a wonder to listen to..  It’s amazing how much clarity and musicality there is in these compositions, each with 3 bass players?!  The magic (seems to me) to lie in how unique and singular each of their voices are on their instruments.  Each track brought me little jumps of joy and internal dialogue (something like, “Man..  that is SO Stanley.  Oh yeah, there’s Marcus!  Man, Victor is killin’ that!” etc…)  Writing credits are shared evenly between the 3 and there seems to be real magic here.  I’m not usually a big fan of “Bass” albums but I think this may be an exception.  There is no denying the collective force of these particular guys in this combination.  Deep grooves, ear twisting chops and soloing as well as some serious lessons in creative bass lines.  I can tell these guys had fun making this album and it comes across in every way possible.  An obvious must-have for bass players and lovers of a deep pocket everywhere.

Stanley is mostly covering upper register duties via his tenor bass and big bottom on his upright while Marcus is laying some serious pocket here (covering a lot of slap ground with that wonderful MM tone) leaving Vic to do what only he can do the way he does…  navigating the best of both worlds it seems.  Head-bopping grooves and awe-inspiring melodies and solos (we get world class solos from all three, don’t worry…  Everyone is WELL represented here).  We also see some re-working of familiar tunes.  MM’s Tutu, Vic’s Classical Thump and yes, Stanley’s Lopsy Lu and Silly Putty (can’t NOT love those tunes).  From furious unison lines that will leave the jaw nailed to the floor to just plain beautiful music…  this disc delivers what we hoped it would.  SMV at their best and serving the music while giving us bass geeks plenty to geek out on!

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