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One of the mainstays of the Higher Octave label, 3rd Force is an instrumental trio composed of multi-instrumentalists William Aura (also the group's producer and chief composer), Craig Dobbin, and Alain Eskinasi, plus varied and frequent guest musicians. 3rd Force is considerably more eclectic than most artists who fit into smooth jazz radio formats; in fact, their work often straddles the line between smooth jazz and dance-heavy, electronic-tinged acid jazz, sometimes incorporating ethnic influences as well. 3rd Force's self-titled debut appeared in 1994, and a series of "force"-themed titles followed: 1995's Force of Nature, 1997's Vital Force, and 1999's Force Field, all at a similar standard of quality. In 2000, Higher Octave released a best-of retrospective titled Collective Force. ~ Steve Huey