SAFETY HARNESS REQUIRED [you may need it!]
Yanek | GLASGOW, Scotland | 07/20/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Well, what have we here then? Scott Henderson, Steve Smith and Victor Wooten - I think I know what to expect". WRONG! Put all your preconceptions to one side, and just enjoy. This album is going to be a little bit of a surprise.
You know how "fusion" music can sometimes become a bit predictable or even stale - bands simply rehashing what's been done before, only not as well. Then suddenly a band appears that literally EXPLODES onto the scene, to shake things up. Well, Vital Tech Tones is such a band.
I'm sure most fusion lovers are already aware of the aforementioned musicians' credentials, so they need no more introductions. What WILL surprise, and hopefully delight, such fusion enthusiasts, is what they create on this album. In my opinion, it comes across as a reaction against the staleness inherent in "some" fusion music. But, because I don't want to give too much away in my review, which would spoil the impact this band has on first hearing, I'll attempt to make vague comparisons instead. Thus, imagine, if you will, Scott with a touch of Jimi Hendrix in his playing, and if Steve added some of John Bonham's sheer power to his already awesome technique, then finally, if all the great bass players you'd ever heard gave a bit of themselves to add to Victor's playing - you'd be getting close to the sound of this phenomenally gifted trio, in this, their debut album.
The playing throughout is of course stunning. The compositions are varied in style - sometimes jazzy, heavy, complex, and funky - but always entertaining. It actually sounds like they were really enjoying themselves while making such a wonderful album. In fact, the amazing interplay within the band suggests to me that they were recording it live, thus capturing those rare moments of genius when they were all "in the zone". This is what jazz is supposed to be about anyway "reaching for that moment".
It's a gem of a performance. If you're looking for "jazz with attitude", this is the album for you - otherwise, look elsewhere. For the sheer sublime playing alone, this VTT album is worth buying. Take a risk - I promise you won't be disappointed!
Spencer Dieck | Cleveland, OH | 08/18/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"GIANT STEPS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! OH MY GOD. lie detector is extremely sweet. vic wooten demonstrates the full range of his instrument and its very refreshing to hear him play walking lines instead of slapping all the time. steve smith is just a GREAT drummer. weckl like chops with great musicality and time.
ah, scott henderson. alongside metheny, holdsworth, wes, and steve vai as my favorite guitarists. he says his tone on this albums is amongst his worst recorded, but its still shockingly great. his lines are otherworldly. such beautiful phrasing and melodic ideas. i love this album.
is it truly worth 5 stars? in my opinion, its a solid album with the exception of giant steps. giant steps alone makes it essential."