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Honest and flat out: is "Tribal Tech" dead or what?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Avezzano, Mar 8, 2004.

  1. One of my favourite bands has always been Tribal Tech. I enjoy the complex textures and the extreme and fresh stretches they put in the compositions, not forgetting to leave a good piece of soul somewhere (well, sort of...).

    Now with the two latest CDs "Thick" and "Rocket science" it seems to me that, simply put, there's no music. At all. Obviously it's my point but I simply do not enjoy putting neither one of these two works into the player, while I enjoy every bit of all the old records. Anybody shares my pain? Are they just far out from the peak of the creative "golden period" of any artist?
  2. man, I think willis is very underrated. everyone raves on about jaco this, claypool this, I havent seen one thread in regard to willis before, maybe cause i havent been on t.b. for long. I recon reality check and illicit are the high points, Tracks like The big wave, speak, worlds waiting. the gary willis band stuff is awesome also. Trouble is I guess, its hard for bands who have been together for years to be fresh, and t tech do have their "sound" that we are used to. Willis is probably one of my favorite bassists, and in my old fusion band, we did a couple of tribal tech tunes.
  3. you are right: Gary Willis is sort of "Jaco on steroids" (with all the due respect for Jaco) and he took from where Jaco left: a personal voice within a very original and undefinable band that composed what I would call interstellar music: how would you call it??? A marriage made in heaven.

    Interesting is also all the philosophy behind his Ibanez signature bass. (For the ones that do not know him, check his site www.garywillis.com definitely worth a spin)
  4. and the good thing about it, he doesn,t slap!!!. he is a very complete player in all aspects. his 16th note grooves are so there. I prefer fingerstyle funk/groove any day of the week.
  5. Mike Money

    Mike Money In Memoriam

    Mar 18, 2003
    Bakersfield California
    Avatar Speakers Endorsing Hooligan
    I think Willis took what Jaco was doing, and improved upon it.

    Ha ha. My friend Travis, he was a student of Willis for a long time. Willis defretted his bass for him... It sounds so nice... So yes, I can say I have played a bass that Willis played and even customized.

  6. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    I prefer the Dr. Hee era of Tribal Tech...IMO, it was here where the band was 50/50 on the 'tribal' vs. the 'tech'. That particular incarnation of the band had Bob Sheppard on sax(es) & Brad Dutz on percussion/marimba. In other words, ACOUSTIC instruments amongst the electric ones. Very cool, IMO.

    Eventually, TT became more 'tech'...an electric 4-tet.

    I would say I enjoyed Rocket Science...a lot.
    Covington's drumming is so much better & confident; he's got the polyrhythmic thang happenin' vs. what I noticed on his earlier TT records. There's also some 'out' stuff happening on the disc. I like that.

    As far as Willis threads at Talk Bass...there are some.
    I always recommend Bent as a '90s "Fusion-esque' album to own.

    Regarding Willis vs. Jaco-
    IIRC, I think TB's Mike Dimin interviewed Willis in Bass Frontiers a couple years back...Mike asked Willis about taking Jaco's thing up a notch; Willis replied that '...anyone that compares him to Jaco must be on drugs'.
  7. >Willis replied that '...anyone that compares him to Jaco must be on drugs'.

    Obvious: what did you expect him to say: "yes, I improved JACO"?


    Seriously, the only one that did something fresh "for real" after Jaco, that methabolised HIS huge lesson in full and after spat out good new stuff on fretless is Gary. (In my opinion). We could even drop here other names, but to me the real son of Jaco is Gary... despite what he says or thinks!!!

  8. yeh, I am certain others would agree, I my opinion, he is the players player. He is very modest, like most fusion players, i don't sense 1 bit of ego at all from willis, his playing does the talking.
  9. >don't sense 1 bit of ego at all from willis, his playing does the talking.

    I subscribe 100%! In addition to being a breath-taking musician, he's real sharp, completely humble and full of humour (just check his answers archives on his site). He's also a fellow biker and (as most of us "bassicks") an expert luthier; he states having personally done countless conversions for friends' or students' basses (for free, I guess).

  10. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    No argument from me!
    ...and yes, I am on drugs(Prilosec)!
  11. Well guys...
    I've got to say that Gary Willis' playing style is very different from Jaco's. For one thing, Willis goes out of his way to avoid a lot of sliding/glissandos. He uses his fretless sound sparingly in that regard. Also, his "thumpy" unique string damping is almost the complete opposite of Jaco's "soaring/sometimes chorused" sound which usually had a much longer per note decay time.

    I can see why Gary thinks people who compare them in more than a general way, are on drugs! Funky 16ths do not only a Jaco make!

    I vote for "Bent" as one of the best fusion albums EVER! (solo/not a Tribal Tech.) I like the absence of screaming electric lead guitar (makes the bass the star) and you can't beat Chamber's drumming. The CD "No Sweat" is also great but I'd recommend "Bent" if you get only one.

    Also, Rocket Science and the other recent album(s) are more jam based rather than prearranged pieces which makes for a very different sound. (I don't own those CDs so, if you wanna donate 'em to me ,PM me! :)

    I can't wait for a book of transcriptions for "Bent" and "No Sweat"!
  12. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    Personally, I think much of the Jaco/Willis comparisons involve their respective skills as composers...both could/can write challenging material in lieu of 'bass anthems'. In other words, their tunes didn't 'sound like they were written by a bass player', ya know?
    Granted, both play(ed) fretless bass in a Fusion band. The very first time I heard TT & Willis was in the late '80s...Willis definitely sounded like the heir apparent to me.

    BTW, the title tune on Thick sounds very Weather Report-ish!
  13. Jim, I see and completely agree with your points; I just intended to say that the legitimate "son" of Jaco is an integer artist that has his own (AND PERSONAL!) view of the fretless instrument and a new approach that will project it in the future. Would he play a la jaco he'd just be another clone around.

    For Thick and Rocket science, really: if you can copy from someone ok, otherwise spare the money!!!!!

    :) V.
  14. All through most albums that T.T. do is "littered" with a la Weather report influence. Heir apparent to me is a precise statement. Like what has been said already, he in some ways has built upon the benchmark Jaco set.
  15. I agree about the Weather Report influences and th point about comparing Gary and Jaco as composers is right on.
    I still feel that Gary stylistically stays away from Jaco-isms enough to avoid the clone thang and rhythmically, they approach things differently as well. Willis to my ears is more drummer like with his thumpy damping technique (kind of like some Matt Garrison) while Jaco was more..."melodically propelling" for lack of a better term... :meh:

  16. Dead right. he certainly is no clone,only a influence. The only jaco clones are the players at home working away feverishly trying to nail teen town and donna lee, which is great if you want to do that. I prefer to transcribe willis's stuff rather than jaco's, It's all personal choice. You mentioned matthew Garrison, man he plays some nice stuff. :)
  17. Yes! I encourage ALL bassists who like fusion/world music and guitaristic bass guitar to purchase Matt Garrison's debut CD at www.garrisonjazz.com It is EASILY one of the most innovative bass albums to come along in decades. Even at the approx. $20 it'll take to get it and get it to your door I don't think most listeners would be disappointed and will infact be picking their jaws up off the floor. 

    Anyone heard when Gary Willis' next solo CD is due out?

    P.S. To the disappointed "Rocket Science, etc. guy... I'll still take those Tribal Tech CDs off your hands if you wanna send 'em to a good cause! :)
  18. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    Got it, had it for awhile...

    Another one in the fusion/World genre worth checking out is Fima Eprhron's Soul Machine.
    Ephron plays with the Sreaming Headless Torsos, Lost Tribe(both LT's guitarists, David Gilmore & Adam Rogers, are on Garrison's cd), & the Hasidic New Wave(one of the more happenin' NYC downtown bands, IMO).

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