Thursday, October 29, 2015

Victor Wooten - 1997 "What Did He Say"

What Did He Say? is the second solo album released by bassist Victor Wooten.

Bass students from Berklee to the Bass Institute Of Technology and all points inbetween are going to lay with this record for some time to come. Perhaps the preeminent chops monster in the bass world today, Wooten wowed critics with his 1996 debut, A Show Of Hands. Fans of Bela Fleck and the Flecktones had been aware of Wooten's amazing abilities on the four-string electric bass for years but this stunning unaccompanied solo bass showcase drove home the point that Victor was indeed the cat. No one had pushed the envelope on the instrument like Victor since Jaco Pastorius burst onto the scene 20 years ago. Wooten continues to push forward with good humor and unparalleled virtuosity.
His latest is an eclectic offering with an all-star cast of characters supporting Victor in his cause of championing the bottom. Whether he's overdubbing six tracks of bass or just laying it down in real time with a rhythm section, Wooten demonstrates an uncanny command of the instrument and seems to be having a ball in the process. This is one monster who doesn't take himself too seriously.
The title track is a wacky bit of P-Funk-ish buffoonery that is strictly on the one. Victor turns in a lyrical reading of the soul anthem "What You Won't Do For Love" and blows with boppish facility on "Cherokee," performed alongside his brothers Regi on guitar, Joseph on piano and Rudy on alto sax. "A Chance" is his funky Mu-Tron inflected tip-of-the-hat to Bootsy Collins while "Bro John" is a foot- stomping hoedown featuring some slippery fretless lines and a guest appearance by Victor's father Elijah "Pete" Wooten on vocals.
His solo bass rendition of the Lennon-McCartney gem "Norwegian Wood" is a veritable clinic in harmonics, tapping and chording. Elsewhere, Victor updates the gorgeous Coltrane ballad "Naima," a feature for fellow electric bassist and Virginia homey Oteil Burbridge, and offers an affecting, if odd, tribute to Thelonious Monk on "The Loneliest Monk." B┼Żla Fleck guests on the Celtic-flavored Wooten composition "The Sojourn Of Arjuna" and he showcases his mind-blowing slap chops on "A Little Buzz." Another victory for the bass monster.

Put simply, this is the best CD I've heard in a long time by the best musician. I find Vic's work to be moving, passionate an' just plain funky. I liked this CD more than "Show of Hands." On both of these CD's Victor seems to still be looking for exactly the "right feel" and so there is a great deal of variety and the CD comes off a little eclectic. Personally I find some of his best stuff is the funkier grooves ("What did he say?,"I Don't Wanna Cry" and "Buzz") Hopefully, Vic will continue to put out more solo CD's and we'll see where he goes next and what he decides on. Overall, a must for anyone that can appreciate good music (and gets so bored with pop). 

Oh, this album is just wonderful! There is so much variety in the songs, I NEVER grow tired of listening to it! There are incredible messages that enlighten, humor and the awesome playing that Victor does. Just the bestest!

Track Listing:

1. Yo Victa
2. What Did He Say?
3. What You Won't Do for Love
4. Cherokee
5. Don't Wanna Cry
6. The Loneliest Monk
7. A Chance
8. Radio W-00-10
9. Norwegian Wood
10. Bro John
11. Naima
12. Sometimes I Laugh
13. My Life
14. The Sojourn of Arjuna
15. Buzz Ntro
16. A Little Buzz
17. Kids Didn't Change
18. Heaven Is Where the Heart Is
19. What Did He Say? [Live] [Live]

Personnel

    Aashid – Vocals
    J.D. Blair – Drums
    Future Man – Vocals, Voices
    Michael Kott – Vocals, Voices
    Park Law – Vocals
    Will Lee – Vocals
    Malcolm X – Vocals, Voices
    Dorothy G. Wooten – Vocals, Voices
    Elijah "Pete" Wooten – Vocals, Voices
    Joe Wooten – Vocals
    Victor Wooten – Bass, Arranger, Vocals, Voices, Producer, Liner Notes, Tenor Bass

1 comment:

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