I first heard Victor Wooten live here in Portland, OR at the Aladdin Theater in June of 2008. (See my review of the event here) My first impression was that what Victor does, goes well beyond playing the bass or being a gifted musician. He is a Guru, a teacher and he operates at a level I can only aspire to in music and in life.
Since reading books seems to be a dying art in our day, it was very astute for Victor to put his book “The Music Lesson“ (Publisher/Distributor: Alfred Publishing) on CD. It sure makes my morning commute to work more enjoyable and beneficial! A bonus of this format is that Victor’s music is the background track that he and a very respectable group of players provide.
What we have here is a seven CD set. The content is mostly in Victors’ own voice with a little help from his friends… (I will make you find out who is involved on your own).
Since I am on the topic of the cast… I have one comment. I felt that “The Teacher” played by Michael Kott was a little dramatic in contrast to Victor’s voice, but I definitely preferred this to a monotone reading of a book. Mike’s character did grow on me as I kept listening. The other characters’ interesting voices and accents added dimension and entertainment to the story. So be warned, there is a little dramatic flair in this project!
This book is an organized tour of Victor’s life and music philosophy. We discover his views on life as a musician, music education, church, politics, musical healing, etc. One part even reminded me of “The Force;” I am a big “Star Wars” fan, so some of this stuff felt to me like Yoda had a hand in it… But that is cool!
Specifically, we are treated to Victor’s musical point of view on “Groove”,” Notes”, “Space/Rest” (In a musical rest sense as well as a mathematical one), ”Technique”, “Emotion/Feel”, ”Articulation/Duration”, ”Dynamics”, “Rhythm/Tempo”, “Tone”, “Phrasing”, “Listening” and much more. All this information is invaluable to any musician, not just us bass players!
In conclusion, I felt that this “Book” made me look at my own playing and life and how I might take it to the next level. If this is something that you could use as well, then this set is for you too! (And not liking to read is no excuse anymore).