Victor Wooten redefines the word musician. Regaled as the most influential bassist since Jaco Pastorius, Victor is known for his solo recordings and tours, and as a member of the Grammy-winning supergroup, Bla Fleck & The Flecktones. He is an innovator on the bass guitar, as well as a talented composer, arranger, producer, vocalist and multi-instrumentalist. But those gifts only begin to tell the tale of this Tennessee titan. In 1988 Victor moved to Nashville, where he worked with singer Jonell Mosser and met New Grass Revival banjo ace Bla Fleck. A year later, Fleck enlisted Vic, his brother Roy (a.k.a. Future Man) and harmonica-playing keyboardist Howard Levy to perform with him, and the Flecktones were born. After three highly successful albums, Levy departed in 1993, and the band's new trio format enabled Victor to develop and display a staggering array of fingerboard skills that turned him into a bass hero of Pastorian-proportions and helped earn the band a Grammy. Fresh off sold-out tours with the Flecktones and Bass Extremes (with Bailey, Watson and Oteil Burbridge) in 2004, Victor is re-focusing on his solo side in 2005 thanks to a remarkable new CD, his Vanguard Records debut, Soul Circus. A three-ring affair, the disc boasts such guests as the Wooten brothers, Bootsy Collins, Arrested Development rapper/vocalist Speech, Howard Levy, Dennis Chambers, Saundra Williams, J.D. Blair, Derico Watson, Flecktone Jeff Coffin, and a who's-who of bassists, including Bailey, Burbridge, Will Lee, Rhonda Smith, Christian McBride, T.M. Stevens, Bill Dickens and Gary Grainger. On Soul Circus, Victor performs his usual high-wire act on a bevy of basses, but the real ringmaster here is his collection of songs: The poignant "Prayer" and Prince-charged flipside "Natives" provide a thought-provoking look at our native Americans. The epic "Bass Tribute" pays homage to great thumpers past and present. "On and On" is an instant soul classic. "Cell Phone" makes a chuckle-filled, cutting-edge connection. "Higher Law" stands as a stadium-ready, rock-funk protest anthem in the best Sly Stone tradition. "Back to India" currys up simmering musical flavors. And the hip hop/jazz title track marks the sonic coming-out of the long-rumored eight-armed character seen on the CD's cover and in the liner notes: Yes, Virginia (and the rest of the world), there is a funktopus! Victor Wooten has the rare ability to continuously raise the bar, always growing as an artist, and he's excited to have joined the Vanguard roster with the release of Soul Circus.
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