Sixteen years in Tribal Tech, the most innovative of post-Weather Report fusion bands, confirmed the status of Gary Willis as a modern-day bass icon. Picking up where Jaco Pastorius left off, Willis's explorations are stretching the possibilities of the fretless bass as a lead instrument, as evidenced on two 2007 releases, the storming Slaughterhouse 3 and his third solo album, Actual Fiction--a bass album unlike any other--both on Abstract Logix.In a revealing interview Willis lends insight into his ...read more
As co-founder, with guitarist Scott Henderson, of now-defunct fusion group Tribal Tech, bassist Gary Willis has never been averse to technology. By the time the group released its eponymous fourth album in 1991, there were times when it was nearly impossible to tell who was doing what. With the exception of drummers Kirk Covington (ex-Tribal Tech) and David Gomez on seven of its ten tracks, Willis goes it completely alone on Actual Fiction, an album of monster chops, penetrating grooves, ...read more
One might be forgiven for thinking that bassist extraordinaire Gary Willis has the titles of the first two songs on Actual Fiction the wrong way round. Cartoon Fetish is a slightly frantic drum 'n' bass rave with a Prodigy-like bullishness that would be ideal to rock a party and rattle your neighbors' windows. The wonderfully titled Smells Like a Party is an irresistible piece of head-bobbing funk of the type Prince cooks up, and would make a great soundtrack for ...read more
The musical collaboration between bassist Gary Willis and drummer Kirk Covington goes back a long way, to college bands and later with jazz/fusion band Tribal Tech. Over twenty-five years later (and seven years after the demise of Tribal Tech) the two musicians are still creating great rhythms together on Slaughterhouse 3.. Joined by adventurous Spanish saxophonist Llibert Fortuny, the trio has made an album of powerful grooves which falls outside conventional categorization, yet which remains wholly accessible.
The ...read more
Anyone familiar with electric bassist Gary Willis (co-founder of the powerhouse fusion outfit Tribal Tech) and drummer Kirk Covington (a longtime member of that same group) will know that any saxophone trio they're involved with will be far removed from convention. Add saxophonist Llibert Fortuny, a rising star on the Spanish jazz scene, and the result is Slaughterhouse 3, an energized, take-no-prisoners album that, with its combination of potent grooves, wild electronics and freewheeling improvisation, will appeal equally to fans ...read more
I will have to say this first off, Whoa! This funked-n-free-jam fusion splash is a tricky ride. Though truly off-center and extremely innovative in many solos and song structures -- you gotta love this releases overall groove. Everybody seems wide open, slammin', chops-laden, pumpin' and hard groovin'--and 100% slick! It is a mine field of genius, crunch, technical feats of fusion and best of all -- full of soul and fire. This is no limp-wristed, rag doll fuzak. No! GnHnWnCnK ...read more
“Tribal Tech” is a band that have almost single-handedly revived fusion from the sunken depths of obscurity while consistently reinventing their group sound and approach for over ten years now. Here the musicians enter the studio without any preconceived notions or rigid game plans yet have produced one of their finest efforts in years, titled Rocket Science.
Complete with tongue-in-cheek CD cover art depicting a female in a bathing suit riding what appears to be a tin rocket (phallic symbol), ...read more
Tribal Tech co-leaders Scott Henderson (guitars) and Gary Willis (bass) sought a new direction with this latest release, the band's ninth. In the past, Henderson and Willis conceived their compositions in advance, then fleshed them out in the studio. This time they entered the studio without any preconceptions and just spent three days jamming and recording. Afterwards the quartet selected the best moments and added a few embellishments. Thick may be the boldest effort yet from one of ...read more