While the global dance community has never failed to make a commotion over European groovemeisters Count Basic, the West Coast-based keyboard trio 3rd Force has slowly amassed a catalog of music as rhythm intensive and melodically irresistible as its titles are pun-inflected (Forces of Nature, Vital Force, etc.). So many of their cuts -- anchored by synth wizard William Aura and enhanced by a host of eager smooth jazz stars like Craig Chaquico, Boney James, and Peter White -- have made it onto the airwaves that Higher Octave Music had no trouble gathering 13 well-known tracks to digitally remaster to form the bulk of Collective Force. 3rd Force's productions can be simple and sparse, as on "Here Comes the Night," which features a gentle acoustic piano intro and then a subtle, seductive groove and dreamy atmosphere behind Peter White's high-toned acoustic melody. Other pieces like "No Doubt" combine hypnotic synth swirls, hip-hop shuffling grooves, and an energetic flugelhorn and trumpet battle off the main melody. The two new tunes perfectly display this dichotomy: "Dance With Me" twines sprinkles of synth-generated tropical vibes, Grant Geissman's echoing electric guitar, and wah-wah snaps under a jumpy electric piano melody; "Sweet Surrender" finds White playing it cool on a lilting melody over a gently rhythmic flow, combining his nylon strings in certain parts with electronic flute and accordion sounds before he echoes those lines solo.
AllMusic Review by Jonathan Widran