Artist

Victor Wooten

Bassist Victor Wooten began his musical career early. At age three, his brother Regi taught him to play bass, and at age five he made his stage debut with his four older brothers in the Wootens, playing songs by R&B mainstays like James Brown, Sly & the Family Stone, War, and Curtis Mayfield.

After playing regional tours and opening for acts like Mayfield and War, the Wootens recorded an album in 1985. However, the record received little commercial or critical response, and eventually the Wooten Brothers found other gigs. By 1988, Victor Wooten moved to Nashville to join a rock band, and the following year met Béla Fleck, the banjo player for New Grass Revival. Fleck was forming a jazz group to appear on a TV show; he recruited Wooten, his brother Roy on drums, and Howard Levy on keyboards and harmonica. As the Flecktones, the group earned numerous accolades, including four Grammy nominations and a number one album on the jazz charts.

As the '90s progressed, Wooten added a solo recording career and numerous collaborations to his duties in the Flecktones. Along with solo albums like 1996's A Show of Hands and the following year's What Did He Say?, Wooten contributed to albums by friends like David Grier, Paul Brady, and Branford Marsalis' Buckshot LeFonque. His third solo album, Yin-Yang, which featured appearances by Fleck, Bootsy Collins, and the Wooten Brothers, was released in 1999. Live in America from 2001 documented four years on the road in a double-disc package. After tours with the Flecktones and a 2001 release/tour with the group Bass Extremes, Wooten returned to his solo career in 2005 with the album Soul Circus. Released in 2008, Palmystery included turns by violinist Eric Silver and harmonica player Howard Levy. ~ Heather Phares, Rovi

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