454

Victor Wooten: Palmystery

Woodrow Wilkins By

Sign in to view read count
Victor Wooten: Palmystery There are those who believe jazz is the devil's music. However, many artists have used this music to express their spirituality and reverence for God. Bassist Victor Wooten is among those, presenting that side of himself with Palmystery.

Wooten is a husband and father of four, as well as the youngest of the five Wooten Brothers. The group performed on the West Coast, opening for such acts as Curtis Mayfield and War. Wooten's influences on the bass include Stanley Clarke, Larry Graham and Bootsy Collins. Wooten spent several years as a member of Bela Fleck and the Flecktones and helped the band earn its first Grammy Award.

Palmystery features Wooten with an ever-changing lineup of side musicians and vocalists, including his brothers and other members of the family. The music contains elements of jazz, funk, gospel, African and other sounds—sometimes in various combinations.

"2 Timers" employs two drummers, Derico Watson and J.D. Blair, who set the pace as the music volleys back and forth between 3/4 and 4/4 time. The players all shine on this energetic track—including Joseph Wooten, keyboards and piano; former Flecktone, Howard Levy, harmonica; Eric Silver, violin and mandolin; and the horn trio as well.

Wooten has the vocal lead on "I Saw God," a story told to an African rhythm. He is wonderfully assisted by the enigmatic Richard Bona, Saundra Williams, Chuck Rainey, Amir Ali, Daniel Hunt and members of the Wooten family. Although this song is rhythm-driven, there is plenty more to admire, principly from Victor Wooten. He is in top form as a lyricist here as the song unfolds. And his work on bass is, predictably, of a very high order.

"The Lesson" is a duet between Wooten and his brother, Roy who joins in on cajon and hand claps. Aptly titled, this track is a a textbook feature of the bassist's speed and accuracy. "Left, Right & Center" features three drummers: Blair, Dennis Chambers and Will Kennedy. But it is guitarist Mike Stern who carries the lead, with Neal Evans providing the heavy undertones of the Hammond B3 organ. Wooten takes a largely back seat behind Stern's lead and both deliver a smoking jam!

Eleven of the twelve tracks on Palmystery are Victor Wooten originals, but he shares writing credits on a couple of tracks with Amir Ali and Joseph Wooten, respectively. Some of these are recent charts, worked into the recent Wooten tour. The lone cover is Horace Silver's "Song for My Father."

Wooten says he rarely completes a song that he writes, welcoming guest musicians to interpret his music their way. On Palmystery, they certainly catch the spirit. And that is what makes this music truly enjoyable and memorable.

Track Listing: 2 Timers; Combo; I saw God; The Lesson; Left, Right & Center; Sifu; Miss U; Flex; The Gospel; Song for my Father; Happy Song; Us 2

Personnel: Victor Wooten: bass, lead vocals (2), hand claps (4), vocals (9), slide bass (7, 12), tenor bass (8), drum programming (12); Derico Watson: drums (1-3, 8, 10); J.D. Blair: drums (1, 5, 6); Joseph Wooten: keyboards (1-3, 6-9, 11, 12), piano (1), organ (7), vocals (9); Howard Levy: harmonica (1); Jeff Coffin: tenor sax (1, 9), baritone sax (9); Rod McGaha: trumpet (1, 9); Barry Green: trombone (1, 9); Eric Silver: violin (1), mandolin (1); Anthony Wellington: bass (2, 8); Regi Wooten: guitar (2, 8, 10, 11); Amir Ali: vocals (2, 3, 6), violin (2, 8), lute (2), darbouka (2); Saundra Williams: vocals (2, 3, 7); Richard Bona: vocals (3), percussion (3); Chuck Rainey: vocals (3), Adam Wooten: vocals (3); Holly Wooten: vocals (3); Kaila Wooten: vocals (3); Daniel Hunt: vocals (3); Roy Wooten: cajon (4, 6), shakers (4), hand claps (4); Dennis Chambers: drums (5); Will Kennedy: drums (5, 9); Mike Stern: guitar (5, 6); Neal Evans: organ (5, 9); Shawn Wallace: alto sax (6); Darrell Tibbs: percussion (6, 10); James Jackson: congas (6); Alvin Chea: vocals (6); Sifu Brian Edwards: vocals (6); Alvin Cordy: bass (7); Earl Walker: drums (7); Roosevelt Collier: pedal steel guitar (7); Alvin Lee: guitar (7); Derrick Lee: vocals (7); Keith Lee: vocals (7); Rudy Wooten: alto sax (9, 11); Dorothy Wooten: vocals (9); Doug Woodard: vocals (9); The Woodard Family: vocals (9); Karl Denison: tenor sax (10); Dane Bryant: keyboards (10); John Billings: bass (11); Raymond Massey: drums (11); Keb' Mo': slide guitar (12)

Title: Palmystery | Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Heads Up International


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Screen Sounds CD/LP/Track Review Screen Sounds
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 20, 2017
Read Rediscovered Ellington CD/LP/Track Review Rediscovered Ellington
by Troy Dostert
Published: August 20, 2017
Read The Bug CD/LP/Track Review The Bug
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 20, 2017
Read Sing Me Some Cry CD/LP/Track Review Sing Me Some Cry
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 20, 2017
Read Masters In Bordeaux CD/LP/Track Review Masters In Bordeaux
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: August 19, 2017
Read On Parade In Parede CD/LP/Track Review On Parade In Parede
by John Sharpe
Published: August 19, 2017
Read "The Wrong Waltz" CD/LP/Track Review The Wrong Waltz
by Geannine Reid
Published: June 15, 2017
Read "Let's Call the Whole Thing Off" CD/LP/Track Review Let's Call the Whole Thing Off
by Edward Blanco
Published: August 29, 2016
Read "The Roc" CD/LP/Track Review The Roc
by Roger Farbey
Published: January 28, 2017
Read "Vanheusenism: A Tribute to Jimmy Van Heusen" CD/LP/Track Review Vanheusenism: A Tribute to Jimmy Van Heusen
by Jerome Wilson
Published: October 4, 2016
Read "Iridescent Clouds" CD/LP/Track Review Iridescent Clouds
by James Nadal
Published: September 24, 2016
Read "Kucheza" CD/LP/Track Review Kucheza
by Chris Mosey
Published: January 12, 2017

Sponsor: JANA PROJECT | LEARN MORE  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.