OH MY GOD!!! Excuse me while I pick my jaw up off the floor!! OK, here goes...
1st & 4most, if you don't dig ELECTRIC BASS GUITAR, you need read no further, this record ain't for you. Secondly, I'd describe this as a rockin'/R&B/funkfest played with virtuoso Jazz chops and sensibilities. Dare I say it....? Wait...here it comes, this is a HISTORIC FUSION recording!!!
If you've ever dug Stanley Clarke's, let's say 1st 4-5 solo records, or Marcus Miller's 1st 3-4 solo records, than this record is simply a must-have. I must admit that I've never been a huge fan of the bass solo, acoustic or electric. However, there's a handful of playas that I could never ignore, these are 3 of 'em. I never could get into an overdubbed bass solo much, with this band, most of the time, one of the boy's is holding down the bottom while the others play on top. But I oversimplify, the way these guys trade off and switch up is stunning. At times sounding like a basschestra, the sound is so rich and thick, it's really marvelous. Released by Telarc's/Head's up label, this record is a recording marvel. I guess it should go without saying that the record has endless bottom-end extension and if you think any one of these brothers can SLAM by himself, imagine the 3 combined! The songs offer so many treats, delights, and surprises that are individually worth the price of admission, collectively, the record's a smash! Listen to how this bass clinic goes from the Rock anthem-ish 'Los Tres Hermanos' (which has a melody I find myself humming to myself... a lot!) to the shake-your-head-in-wonder funk orgy, 'Lopsy Lu-Silly Putty'. God, talk about thunder-thumbs and lightnin' licks!! Complete with Hendrixian neck-slides (233 seconds in, Wooten hits one that's simply flabbergasting!). This project is primarily Marcus Miller's, but it's a case of being 1st amongst equals, with snippets of the trio's "greatest hits" being dropped in when you least expect it, not to mention "quotes from disco (money, money, money!) and Led Zeppelin being played within seconds of each other! How fierce should a group be considered when Victor f***king Wooten is considered the ROOKIE in the band! Interesting to note Clarke's influence on Wooten when he solo's, but there's no mistaking when Stanley does his thing, great to hear him in such fine form. BTW, usually it's Stanley on the left, Marcus in the middle, and Victor on the right. Some amazing live duets between MM & SC, and MM & VW. Sheesh, I'm goin' way long on this but I gotta mention the wonderful 'Mongoose Walk' feat. Chick Corea, and the beautiful 'Milano' feat. SC on acoustic basses (arco & pizzicato), MM & VW on Obligato bass gtrs, and MM on fretless, really sweet!! Frankly, although I've always dug 'Tutu' (the song), I've heard SO many versions of it I kinda cringed when I saw it included but I shouldn't have worried, this may be the definitive version! There's so much more but I'll give it a rest. If I'm understanding this correctly, the record is promoting a tour the boys are doing, man I hope I get the opportunity to check 'em out.
To quote Marcus; "...y'all some baaaaad muh-pluckers!!'
With RTF touring to be followed with Chick hooking up with McLaughlin to tour afterwards and, I assume, Stanley doing this thing with SMV, it's a great time to be a Fusionista!!