This German fusion power trio is comprised of guitarist Stefan Ivan Schäfer, bassist Christoph Victor Kaiser, and drummer Thomas Lui Ludwig, all of whom are highly skilled, powerful musicians. Recorded in 1996, 3 on the Floor does them justice with high-quality production and a set of challenging, energetic compositions. Schäfer and Kaiser do most of the writing, both collaboratively and individually, coming up with fiery funk grooves and dizzying ensemble cohesion on tunes like "Three on the Floor," "Take the Brake," and the furious 9/8 workout "Tough Stuff." They're more delicate and pop-jazzy on "Yellow Fellow," "Second Feeling," and parts of "Relax Max," however. Schäfer can leap out with supercharged distortion, but he tempers his attack with a thoughtful, crisp musicality; think Steve Vai meets Wayne Krantz with a dash of John Scofield. Kaiser's six-string bass work is reminiscent of Anthony Jackson, yet he and the group show their allegiance to the late, great Jaco Pastorius on an infectious cover of "Teen Town," the final track. His contrapuntal passage at the end of "Yellow Fellow" is one of the album's finer moments. Ludwig is a strong, versatile fusion drummer who anchors the band through all its shifting styles.
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AllMusic Review by David R. Adler