Victor Wooten is one of those rare electric bass technocrats who learned all the right lessons from Jaco Pastorius. While sounding not at all like him, Wooten exhibits the same ability to retain the groove and a warm midrange tone while demonstrating considerable prowess. On this ambitious two-CD project, Wooten runs the gamut from “wave” type instrumentals like “Imagine This,” where overdubbed basses function as both foundation and melody instruments, to sampled spoken-word pieces.
Yin-Yang is definitely a family affair, including three other Wootens––Joseph (keys), Regi (guitar), and Rudy (sax)–as well as extended family members like Victor’s fellow Flecktone Béla Fleck and Dave Matthews Band drummer Carter Beauford. Even with all these guests, one would’ve preferred perhaps a more tightly edited single CD that featured more of Wooten’s instrumental individuality (on the order of “Singing My Song” with its stripped-down bass, drum, and vocal approach, or “Tali Lama” with its bluegrass tinges courtesy of Peter Rowan, and less generic “happy jazz” like “The Urban Turban“). Nevertheless, Yin-Yang should be required to listen to any player or fan of the electric bass. —Michael Ross | Amazon
At your leisure, spin “YIN YANG” by Victor Wooden