Victor Wooten concert review
As I was walking out of SPACE into the hallway that joins it with the pizza restaurant in the front of the building I told a hostess flyering the exiting crowd, "that was gross in there." Watching Victor Wooten play was gross. His natural harmonic game is so strong right at the bridge of the bass. I'm not sure if it keeps him in G, easier with the open string pull offs, but that's because I'm not sure of anything anymore. Well, I am sure his nail beds are from a half to a quarter of an inch. I am sure that while four young bros hectored Victor to sign their guitar, camera at the ready, accompanist JB put on a surfer boy accent commenting that the show was 'awesome,' and possibly 'gnarly.' A fun counterpoint to the prodigious three part bass playing and intuitive ensemble between the duo onstage was the three year old standing slack jawed and glass eyed just offstage, watching Wooten play. Ironically I felt this young man was saying what we were all thinking, he was articulating a dumbfoundedness at seeing this man, who has learned the bass guitar, unlearned it, and recreated it in his own style casually break into a nursery rhyme just for him, go right back, translate "Isn't She Lovely" horn and rhythm section amalgamated and the soloing over his own reduction with the Boss RC-50 loop pedal, but acting gracious and childish. In a display of sheer ensemble Victor and JD would shout back and forth to each other, call and response, in between songs, getting louder and softer together, faster and slower. Take away the virtuosity and what you have is two guys doing their best, staying together, and divining a world class experience on the strength of their own ability to react to each other which might be as life affirming as the nested rhythms Victor was able to pull off or the 2 v 3 bi-tempos in which the grooves were skillfully camouflaged. I saw Victor Wooten slam the face of his bass guitar into his chest and drop it back down front facing. The jarring four string rattle was in time and in tune. The faster he mutes the strings to conform to faster sections the less rooted in diatonicity the songs seemed to get because the tapestry of texture was so solid and spell binding.