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Jazz Bass Trio SMV Wows Fans with Debut CD 'Thunder'


For fans of the bass guitar, the formation of a new trio by three of today's greatest jazz bass players is a dream come true. VOA's Doug Levine fills us in on S.M.V. and their debut album, Thunder.

Chances are, you've already heard of S.M.V. Well, probably not the group, but most likely, its individual members. After all, the trio boasts a combined total of 90 years in the music business.

So, who are these giants of the jazz bass? The "S" stands for Stanley Clarke, the "M" is for Marcus Miller, and the "V" is for Victor Wooten.

Put all three in a recording studio, turn up the volume, and the result is, as the title suggests, thunderous.

S.M.V. bassist and producer Marcus Miller originally wrote, arranged and performed "Tutu" also found on Thunder for the Miles Davis album of the same name. Miller collaborated with Miles for 10 years.

Of all the members, Stanley Clarke has logged the most hours in the studio, beginning in 1972, with the jazz-fusion band Return To Forever. Victor Wooten, who learned to play bass at age three, recently entered his second decade with Bela Fleck and The Flecktones.

The idea to record an album first came to Wooten at a concert last October. He was performing at "Bass Player Live!" in New York City, when an impromptu jam session with Clarke and Miller inspired his vision of an all-star trio, rehearsing, recording and eventually going on tour. Three months later, they were in the studio making Thunder.

Wooten describes Thunder as an album of substance.

"The bass heroics are there, but people are going to be surprised at how musical it is," he says.

Stops on S.M.V.'s Thunder tour include the U.S., Canada, Korea, Singapore, Japan, Russia, and more than 20 countries across Europe.

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