S.M.V. : Thunder

smv_thunder.jpgThunder is far more than a musical collaboration between three of the world’s premiere bassists.  Instead, the disc is a celebration of the instrument itself, an exploration of just how far the low end can travel in the hands of masters Stanley Clarke, Marcus Miller and Victor Wooten.

The music heard on Thunder is, at times, a far cry from what one would expect to hear with three bass players performing in unison. S.M.V. compliments one another perfectly, without ever competing to find space to showcase the individual style of any one of its members. Instead, the trio sounds natural together, each bass enhancing the sounds of the others. 

The opening track, “Maestro de las Frecuencias Bajas,” quickly proves this point. The track begins orchestrally, building to a peak before the basses come in. Victor kicks in first with the melody, followed by Clarke playing the same line in harmony before Miller joins, adding a second harmony line. Finally, a horn section chimes in, also in complete harmony, creating an astounding, masterful piece of art.

Thunder features guest appearances by an extremely talented group of artists, including keyboardists Chick Corea and George Duke, trumpeter Michael “Patches” Stewart, and vocalist/beat-boxer Butterscotch.  The disc closes with “Grits,” a funky, down-home number that finds Clarke taking the final solo, making his bass sing like an old blues guitar.

Thunder is out now on Heads Up.