As a followup to fiercely uncompromising power trio project, “Slaughterhouse 3″, bassist extraordinaire Gary Willis delivers a potent punch with “Actual Fiction”.
Joining the world-class electric bassist on this ambitious avant-groove outing is Willis’s longtime bandmate in Tribal Tech, drummer Kirk Covington, along with drummer David Gomez.
On frantic romps like the drum ‘n’ bass flavored “Cartoon Fetish” and ultra-funky throwdowns like “Smells Like A Party,” “If Only It Could Talk” and “PodCast,” Willis blends remarkable chops along with an innate ability to groove hard on the low end. His more lyrical side comes across on the beautiful ballad “Say Never,” which showcases his melodically singing style on the fretless electric bass, while the chopsbusting “Eye Candy” stands as his answer to Jaco Pastorius’s anthemic “Teen Town.” The sound collage “Take Me To Your Leader” and the dramatic closer “Based On A True Story” both represent a walk on the more experimental side while “Mean Streak,” powered by Gomez’s aggressive, polyrhythmic attack, is hard-hitting fusion at its most virtuosic. And on “Tio Loco,” Willis reunites with his longtime rhythm tandem partner Covington as they recreate the loose-tight hookup that fueled a dozen Tribal Tech recordings since the 1980s.
Now based in Spain, Willis remains one of the premier electric bassists on the international scene. His playing, composing and overall concept on “Actual Fiction” should elevate him to a new level of appreciation among bass connoisseurs.
– Bill Milkowski is a regular contributor to Jazz Times, Jazziz, Bass Player, Modern Drummer and Absolute Sound magazines. He is also the author of “JACO: The Extraordinary and Tragic Life of Jaco Pastorius” (Backbeat Books).
Format: CD Cat No.: ABLX 06 Barcode: 827912065848
Gary Willis (Bass), Kirk Covington (Drums), David Gomez (Drums)
1. Cartoon Fetish 2. Smells like a Party 3. Podcast 4. Say Never 5. Eye Candy 6. Take me to your Leader 7. Mean Streak 8. If Only It Could Talk 9. Tio Loco 10. Based on a True Story
"What I spent a lot of time doing was trying to create an environment that would challenge my vocabulary, require different ways of expressing myself, and fire me to play differently... challenge me with what I have to say."