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April 2002

Victor Wooten
Live in America
Compass Records

Victor Wooten's Live in America is a two-disc demonstration of what this electric bass legend is about. Primarily, he's about thump 'n' slap technique taken to the nth degree, and he's about mixing and matching the genres of funk, jazz and folk traditions. An integral part of Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, on his own Wooten leans more toward the funky side. In Wooten's world, there's always a friendly party going on, and the accent is on pumping grooves. This band is essentially a continuation of the pre-Flecktones group, the Wooten Brothers, with guitarist Regi Wooten and keyboardist Joseph Wooten, who also sings on his own pretty gospel tune "I Dream in Color." Stellar guests show up, including Bootsy Collins on "Are You Ready, Baby?" and Marcus Miller, who offers his more rounded sound in dialogue with Wooten's bright-toned intricacies on the "Miller Time" medley that includes Jaco Pastorius' "Teen Town." Closing the album is a Sly and the Family Stone medley, "If You Want Me to Stay/Thank You (Falletin Me Be Mice Elf Agin)," underscoring the fact that Wooten and brothers are happily extending '70s musical culture, when the electric bass first came into its own.

Originally published in April 2002
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