It just doesn’t get any better than this. It just doesn’t. No meteorologist could have predicted this phenomenon. There has been “rainmaker” folklore, and whether you believe in that sort of thing or not, no amount of exotic fiction can even come close to the reality of serious thunder-makers. Enter the architects of the most robust, earth-shattering man-made thunder, Stanley Clarke, Marcus Miller and Victor Wooten, aka S.M.V., with the release of -- what else?--Thunder. Hold on to your hats and seats, but release your inhibitions and let your spirit just soar wildly with this one. You’ll surely feel it down to the core of your spine!
The energy and fat, funky bottom here are no strangers to any of these three virtuosos. After all, we all should know that Stanley Clarke is truly nothing less than legendary. His handling of the low frequency has been compared to the mastery of Charlie Parker and Louis Armstrong on their respective instruments. Jamming and being a mainstay in such giant collaborations as Return to Forever and the Clarke/Duke Project, among zillions of other ventures while coming up with his own line of basses, are just beyond words. His assertion that the bass is a permanent, internal part of him is spot on and totally undeniable. Watching this master in action is almost a religious experience.
Marcus Miller, a kingpin who, besides being at the top of the Who’s Who list in jazz bassists, has collaborations, compositions and productions that cause all up-and-coming bassists, as well as established bassists, to gape in awe. Once dubbed the “Thumbslinger” by his peers, this giant among giants has produced, played with or laid down monster tracks for such greats as Steely Dan’s Donald Fagen, our late and beloved Luther Vandross, Wayne Shorter, Roberta Flack, the late great Grover Washington Jr. and on and on and on…not to mention his legendary 6-album stint with the great Miles Davis, producing three of them, including the renowned Tutu. The definition of funk and power bass was revamped with the emergence of this master of the bottom.
The third sensation of this trio is Flecktones master bassist, Victor Wooten. Though skilled in a variety of instruments, Wooten has managed to remain a formidable force to be reckoned with in the land of low frequencies. Another one to have an extensive list of greats with whom he’s jammed and recorded, his 6-album success has clearly demonstrated that this “low-end” genius is quite capable of reaching your “center.” In addition to superb playing, Wooten also extends his expertise to giving music and life lessons through his popular Bass Nature Camps in his native Tennessee. Being one of his students has to be a true honor.
Now, about Thunder. Well, suffice it to say, be prepared to sit and just groove and marvel for a bit, as this set, which includes such biting funk as the title cut (naturally), “Hillbillies On a Quiet Afternoon,” “Lopsy-Lu Silly Putty,” Marcus’ immortal “Tutu” and the riveting finale “Grits” is simply more than a set of compositions. It’s a testimony, an unabashed shout, to greatness. It’s material that obviously bore bold witness to itself from concept to its very birth…via Thunder.Posted by Ronald Jackson at November 29, 2008 12:21 AM