Slaughterhouse 3 "S3"

Slaughterhouse 3 “S3”

CD: Slaughterhouse 3 “S3”

Gary Willis – Bass
Llibert Fortuny – Sax/Effects
Kirk Covington – Drums

01. Slaughterhouse 3 [0:04:29.04] 02. Life Story [0:05:49.53] 03. Let’s Go [0:05:16.33] 04. Toxic [0:05:58.69] 05. Booty Duty [0:04:10.12] 06. Another Chance [0:06:00.64] 07. TrapezeNobody’s Friend [0:07:03.16] 08. Stinky [0:05:18.13] 09. Sleep Deprivation [0:02:43.44] 10. Moof [0:03:44.05] 11. Interactive Show [0:10:11.36]

All compositions by Slaughterhouse 3
Published by It’s Only Music BMI, Ediciones Musicales Nemo S.L., Big Catalpa Music BMI
© 2006 Slaughterhouse 3

Slaughterhouse 3 "S3"

Slaughterhouse 3 “S3”

2007 Abstract Logix
Executive Producer: Souvik Dutta [US Release] Recorded July 11-12-2005

Strange is good!

Quite honestly, when I heard the opening notes of this Cd, I was perplexed by the music. Being a veteran Fusion fan, my first instincts were to analyze what the band was doing. I tried and tried, but ended up with just a few conclusions. 1) The cover photos are interesting, 2) Kirk Covington is starting to look a lot like Jor-El (that’s a compliment), 3) I have no clue what they’re doing, and 4) I like it a lot!!!

I couldn’t find any of the usual compositional trademarks such as an opening, chorus, melody, a bridge, or solo space. Wow, what’s left? I thought with those attributes it must be “Avant Garde”, however, it sure didn’t sound that way. On the other hand, there’s a lot of what used to be called “Dark Funk” which is often mistaken for Avant Garde. For the uninitiated Dark Funk is the post Bitches Brew sound of On the Corner or Herbie Hancock’s Sextant. However, in S3, the emphasis is on the powerful grooves and hypnotic effects of phenom Llibert Fortuny. I found myself comparing him to the incredible Eric Kloss (The only other musician to record with the Miles Davis rhythm section of Chick Corea, Dave Holland, and Jack DeJohnette).

With ex -Tribal Tech mates Willis and Covington laying down intuitive, soulful, and neck bobbing grooves, Fortuny finds himself free to roam the stratosphere, yet he shows incredible restraint and taste – no screeching or nonsensical noise here. Just incredible chops with an amazing ability to take you on a musical journey full of excitement and inventiveness.

Gary Willis is his usual self, full of the groove and style that always seems to beg the question – now why don’t other bass players do that? Maybe they can’t, I don’t know, but what he does is nothing short of spectacular. I guess that’s why Gary Willis is one of the world’s premiere bass players!

Covington, on the other hand is the perfect drummer for the occasion. He may not be considered a drummer’s drummer, but he is notoriously under-rated for his musical ear and rhythmic contributions which are unlike any other drummer. He doesn’t show off his chops (which are formidable), instead, he plays the drums to fit the music in a way that’s (for me) indescribable (another compliment), yet clearly self-sacrificing for the music. Maybe his secret is that he doesn’t rehearse (or didn’t in the past). I found this out watching the Zawinul Syndicate at Kuumbwa Jazz Society years ago. When introducing the band, Joe said of Kirk “He’s been with the band for two months and it still seems like two weeks”. All I can say about that is he may not have been the best drummer Zawinul ever played with, but a lot of the great entertainers never rehearsed – like Jackie Gleason or Spencer Tracy, and they were pretty damn good. So is Kirk!

Overall, the first time I heard “S3”, I was confused, but liked it. As I continue to listen, the music just keeps getting better. I don’t exactly know what this means, but when I hear this music, I think of how Miles responded to critic’s when On the Corner was released: “Can you do it?” In the case of “S3”, I doubt there’s a lot of musicians capable of “doing it”. Going further, it’s my humble opinion that what they are doing (whether I understand it, or not) should be done more often. The music on this Cd is what Fusion it all about: Creative, spontaneous improvisation, played with a high degree of skill.

Bass players will love it. Drummers will love it. Sax players will love it. Fusion fans will love it. I think this Cd will hold up extremely well over time because it’s good, and once good, it’s always good.
Rick Calic

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