Scott Henderson, Steve Smith, Victor Wooten: Vital Tech Tones
I suppose the summary phrases could be: ‘90's fusion, relaxed jazzy finesse, bluesy funked rock jams, room to stretch, great musicians having fun playing what they want no genre limits here. Only on their cover of Coltrane’s “Giant Steps” is there a guideline and even here they augment, interpret, solo, and play their own brand of tribute with fluid ease and perfection. Ah yes, they also cover Henderson’s “Dr. Hee” from an ancient Tribal Tech release with a new twist.
For a chance to hear Wooten and Smith boogie down, sample “Two For One”. To hear Henderson go ballistic into the nether regions of fusion, skip tracks to “Lie Detector”. Smith and Wooten were being pushed to speeds where trance-state/ reflex muscle-memory action takes over and the mind quits tryin’ to analyze the next step. Wow! For in-your-face bluesy explosions of guitar in that SRV/Michael Lee Firkins feel, (but way cranked up!), check out Henderson abusing his wah-wah on “King Twang”. My favorite track overall, for inspired, “breaking-outta-the mold”, dreamy Holdsworthian intro, otherworldy mystique, and eerie atmospherics is “The Captors”. It sounded a lot like things Henderson was doing with Tribal Tech on Reality Check. Henderson’s solo, with distorto-alternate-dimension, guitar work reminded me of the sound-worlds John McLaughlin was offering in his guitar-synth experimentations. Superb, superb, superb!
Yeah, there are some tunes on here that didn’t make me go “ga-ga” great musicianship but song composition left my mind adrift. But overall this release is a winner. Recommended. This has been a fun ride. I bet they do it again!
Personnel: Scott Henderson, on guitar Steve Smith, drums Victor Wooten, bass (throat singing on
Record Label: Tone Center
Style: Fusion/Progressive Rock