The long anticipated release of Driving Force, 3rd Force's seventh recording on Higher Octave Music, adds an exhilarating chapter to the multi-faceted, gently exotic groove-oriented instrumental phenomenon that's been a ma... more »instay of the smooth jazz format since the ensemble's self-titled 1994 debut. Featuring performances by Marc Antoine, Eric Darius, Brian Hughes, and Tom Scott, the album marks a bigger in-your-face sound for the band, honoring vintage Motor City funk and the original '70s urban cool.« less
The long anticipated release of Driving Force, 3rd Force's seventh recording on Higher Octave Music, adds an exhilarating chapter to the multi-faceted, gently exotic groove-oriented instrumental phenomenon that's been a mainstay of the smooth jazz format since the ensemble's self-titled 1994 debut. Featuring performances by Marc Antoine, Eric Darius, Brian Hughes, and Tom Scott, the album marks a bigger in-your-face sound for the band, honoring vintage Motor City funk and the original '70s urban cool.
Mark Mohr | Spokane, WA United States | 06/06/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is DEFINITELY not the usual 3rd Force CD. "Driving Force" has a completely different feel and groove to it. The mellowness of past recordings has been replaced by an updated, contemporary sound. The familiar musical hooks are still there, but they're more in the background. Some bright new ideas are front and center and that's a good thing. The long, languid, and somewhat mind-numbing sleep-inducing long jams are gone. The tracks here are shorter , so there are more of them on this CD. They have a punchier and brighter sound, too. Nice to hear some "Special Guests", too. Especially Tom Scott. (I'm old enough to remember the "L.A. Express." Marc Antoine adds some nice guitar strokes, as well. The CD cover is a radical departure, too. No more leaves, flowers, or sand canyons. "Driving Force" has the band members jumping around in dayglow pink, purple, and yellow. Plus, there's SCRATCHING!!! Whoa! Pretty radical stuff for these guys. Now the two gripes: The first track ("Believe in Me") and the last track ("Inside the Rhythm"") are absolutely RUINED by vocals. This is my biggest pet peeve of New Age and Smooth Jazz recording artists today: Why in the world would you want to screw up your otherwise wonderful work with VOCALS???!!!!!!!! If you want to experiment with your sound, that's fine...but don't add vocals, especially to the first track...because that is what most people base their opinion of your CD on. When I heard vocals come in less than five-seconds into the beginning of this CD, I almost screamed "No!". When I ordered "Driving Force", I also bought the new CD from the Rippingtons. They screwed up their new CD with vocals, too. (See my review of "Wild Card"). I rounded out my order with some new Jeff Lorber and it is an incredible CD...I had forgotten what a great musical talent he is. Oh, and guess what? Lorber's new tunes are without vocals. No singing anywhere...THANK YOU JEFF!!!! So a word of advice to bands like Third Force (AND the Rippingtons): ditch the vocals. They simply don't work."
3rd Force Fantastic!!!! My Boys are back and in full Force!!
Linda Boney | New York, NY | 02/24/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"My Boys are back and in full Force!! Driving Force, this 7th CD from 3rd Force is truly what makes 3rd Force the outstanding band that they are! It is truly a refreshing blend of jazz, R&B grooves, new-age acid jazz, world music, and all the delectable notes and beats and sounds that make 3rd Force such a all-time favorite with me. I've been a true and devoted fan since the first self - titled CD "3rd Force" in 1994! I have all their CD's, and I am so excited for this new long-awaited release! The tracks are super edgy from the first intro of "Believe in Me", to the true chill jam "Inside the Rhythm". I jammed to the songs about 5 times or more back to back, every day since getting it last week and now making new favorites to my collection!!! 3rd Force also has a craft for creating the "intro" track for many of their songs on their CD's! "This is the One" is a TOTAL surprise! It starts out nice and mellow and then gets the party going!! The whole CD is true 3rd Force at their best, but even better with new rhythms that puts a twist on the music and it is so refreshing! The featured artists Tom Scott, Marc Antoine, Brian Hughes, and Eric Darius to name a few, are terrific and greatly enjoyed, and if these artists are your favorites (as with me) you won't be disappointed, but when 3rd Force does their tracks solo, it's like pure magic and supreme chemistry!! Add this CD to your collection, jazz lovers, it's danceable, grooving and worth a spin!! A shout out to all the fans - GET THIS CD!! If you enjoy Brian Culbertson (My Man - love him!!), Praful, Dave Koz, and Marc Antoine, I highly recommend trying out 3rd Force. Also check out all their other CD's as well, Collective Force is AWESOME and has all the best of the best tracks from all of their 5 previous CD's. Much love to you all at 3rd Force- William, Alain, and Craig, and Xavier and DJ Radius, you've done it again!!! Congrats, and continue to ride the wave!! Peace! "
The Force Is With You
R. Gandy | Orlando, FL USA | 02/15/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Do you like your jazz shaken and not stirred or maybe with a twist of lime? Then this is the album for you! I have been a fan of Third Force for ten years and they are definitely my favorite band with their funky, yet velvety music. Driving Force may not be their best album, but it is a nice rebound from Gentle Force which tended to be a bit slow. Once again the band has collaborated with other great musicians to pull off another great album that adds pizazz to my day."
Great jazz group
R. Starr | VA USA | 01/15/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I stumbled across 3rd Force while listening to the New Age channel on MSN Radio and I'm glad I did. Driving Force is a great CD when you want some light Jazz music to listen to. It's also a great CD if you want something to play as background at a dinner party. The Rippingtons have always been one of my favorites for easy listening Jazz/New Age and now I'll drop the Driving Force CD in the changer along with The Rippingtons "Weekend in Monaco" and have a great mix."