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Victor Wooten: Palmystery

A longstanding member of the Flecktones and recent member of Chick Corea’s Elektric Band, Wooten is among a handful of elite electric bassists today who are developing a new post-Jaco vocabulary on the instrument. On the genre-bending Palmystery, Wooten showcases his extraordinary range and unparalleled facility on a collection of originals that run the gamut from jazz to fusion, funk, gospel and world music. The powerhouse “2 Timers,” featuring former fellow Flecktone Howard Levy on harmonica, is a tricky workout wherein Wooten’s crew deftly juggles 3/4 and 4/4 simultaneously while “Cambo” is a Middle Eastern-flavored jam with his brothers Regi on guitar and Joseph on keyboards, along with Amir Ali’s exotic vocals and darbouka. Wooten’s spoken word recitation on “I Saw God” is a philosophical Rubik’s Cube set to an upbeat African highlife groove colored by Wooten’s nimble, melodic basslines and Richard Bona’s mellifluous vocals. “The Lesson” is a show-stopping duet with brother and fellow Flecktone Roy “Future Man” Wooten on cajon and handclaps in which Victor simultaneously plays chords, arpeggios and melody lines while also strumming aggressively in a flamenco manner. On “Left, Right & Center,” Victor alternately funks it up and burns a fuzoid blue streak alongside guitar killer Mike Stern, spurred on by a triumvirate of drumming dynamos in Will Kennedy, JD Blair and Dennis Chambers.

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