Code 3: Code 3
Code 3, a fusion trio from Los Angles, includes local veterans Jeff Miley on guitar, Doug Shreeve on bass, and Eric Wells on drums. Their self-titled debut CD also features guest Jeff Babko on keyboards.
Code 3 showcases a smooth, relaxed style of fusion in mid-tempo songs with developed heads and solo sections, mostly written by Miley. Clever melodies ring with a refreshing originality in timbre and phrase, and space within the grooves allows all four musicians to improvise not only individual solos, but also ideas within their rhythm parts. Code 3 was recorded live in a concert hall, an environment designed to inspire their top playing, and the best version of each song was selected from two or three takes. The feel of interaction between the musicians comes through well on tape, in places like the triplet fill in "Reunion," adding to the dynamic jazz vibe of the music.
Miley plays well crafted lines with a dark, smooth distorted tone or a crisp, traditionally clean jazz guitar sound. Shreeve adds a purring bass that drives the music with intensity, and Wells' mellow drumming and feather light cymbals hold up the rhythmic framework. Babko's keyboards contribute subtle but important touches, such as piano doubling of some of Miley's clean guitar lines, and a flowing solo in "Reunion." The faint background mix of Miley's clean chording behind Shreeve's bass solos in "Dark Tower" and "Imagine That" shows the egalitarian band concept behind Code 3, where the music takes precedence over individual roles.
In this current age of numerous independent fusion bands, and numerous guitar-centered, instrumental bands claiming to play fusion, Code 3 stands out from the pack with clear jazz roots and a pure vibe that displays influences without coping anyone else's style. Their cozy groove on Code 3 recalls modern and traditional takes on jazz fusion, combined with an original voice.
Personnel: Jeff Miley - guitar
Doug Shreeve - bass
Eric Wells - drums
Jeff Babko - keyboards (guest)