S.M.V. (Stanley Clarke, Marcus Miller, and Victor Wooten): Thunder


Electric jazz and bass fans already know what S.M.V. stands for but for those new to the thick strings it is a super-group combing Stanley Clarke, Marcus Miller, and Victor Wooten, for their first release Thunder.  “Super Group” is a term that gets thrown around a bit loosely, but no one can argue with this trio’s credentials.  Miller produced the album and being the most “commercial” of the bunch, he gives Thunder a slick, easy listening R&B vibe; but when Clark and Wooten bring the funk on tracks like “Lopsy Lu-Silly Putty” and “Hillbillies on a Quiet Afternoon Stroll,” it is impossible not to shake it.  Rippling fret runs accent all of the tunes as the trio show off their chops, and while there are a few guests, if you are not a bass lover this one isn’t for you.    

Unfortunately, most super groups end up being self indulgent and S.M.V. are no exception (almost all of the tracks here run on too long), but the trio isn’t looking to broaden their fan base, they are looking to cut loose and flex their four strings which they do admirably on tracks like “Classic Thump” and “Mongoose Walk.”  If these giants of the groove want to bring the Thunder whose to argue with them?

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