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S.M.V.: Thunder

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S.M.V.: <em>Thunder</em>

Supertrio glorifies the bass

In most rock and even jazz groups, the bass often takes a backseat to guitar, keys and reeds, stuck in the back communicating rhythm more often than melody. But the members of S.M.V. have preached the instrument’s full potential for decades. They’re essentially The Three Tenors of bass: Stanley Clarke, Marcus Miller and ?Victor Wooten are legends, having played with Chick Corea, Miles Davis and Béla Fleck, among others. Their debut, Thunder, proves playful: With vocals (courtesy of beatboxer Butterscotch) relegated to the background, the bass takes the melody, the rhythm, the low end, the high end and all the solos, creating an admirably diverse array of sounds and styles. A few of the jams, like “Hillbillies on a Quiet Afternoon” (Wooten’s reworking of Clarke’s “Quiet Afternoon”), amble a bit too aimlessly, but in general Thunder conveys the instrument’s sense of possibility.

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