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Featured Review: Me And My Bass Guitar: The Life and Music of Victor Lemonte Wooten

Discussion in 'Features' started by TalkBass, Feb 8, 2005.


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  1. TalkBass

    TalkBass News Poster

    Mar 12, 2004
    <p align="center"><strong><font size="+1">Me And My Bass Guitar: The Life and Music of Victor Lemonte Wooten</font></strong><br> </p> <table width="200" border="0" align="left" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="5"> <tr> <td><img src="http://www.talkbass.com/images/wooten_book_review.jpg"></td> </tr> </table> <p align="center"><em></em><strong>By Paul R. Hargett (Amberock Publications)</strong></p> <p align="center"><em><strong>Book Review for TalkBass.com by Max Valentino </strong></em></p> <p>Victor Wooten needs little introduction to most bass players. Since exploding onto the international music scene in the 1990s, his combination of jaw-dropping technique, showmanship, and fiercely musical conception has had the effect of being both inspiring and humbling to players of the instrument. Technical forays aside, Victor possess the supreme gift of a musician: an ability to convey the joy of life through his music. It is this unique talent, which elevates his music above and beyond being a display of seemingly super-human technical prowess.</p>
     
  2. TalkBass

    TalkBass News Poster

    Mar 12, 2004
    <p>Author Paul Hargett has produced a biography of Wooten, which, much like Victor's own music extends above and beyond the common trivializing of most musician biographies. Writing in a relaxed, conversational style, Hargett creates a work which is a joy to read and metaphorically captures Wooten's own laid-back style. Unlike most musician bios, Hargett concentrates not on tabloid-like excesses, not that Victor possesses any of those (he is one of the few “star” musicians who does not drink or smoke and eschews the trappings of stardom), but rather focuses on the “inside story”: the life of a young man whose' faith in love, family, and humanity give him strength to rise above life's obstacles, avoid its pitfalls and create art which that can both elevate and illuminate the human condition, all the while inviting the listener to dance along the way.</p> <p>In the lexicon of music and musicians, few have elevated to a status of first name recognition. Miles, Dizzy, Jaco, Elvis….there are a few, but most received this notable accolade after many years of hard work. It seems so unique that a young man such as Victor Wooten could achieve this status. Yet, in listening to his music, one cannot help but realize that it is no surprise at all. Wooten's music is the real deal; composed with elements of balance: visceral and intellectual, spiritual and earthy, complex and simple, virtuostic and common, Hargett's book clearly shows us how Victor's life and music are completely intertwined. Often jumping time frames from the past to the present, the book begins with Wooten's childhood; his deep family ties and his rise as a young bass prodigy with the family band, The Wootens. Through financial troubles, relocations, perilous gigs and bad contracts, the support and love of family nourishes Victor and his brothers allowing them to weather all of these obstacles….smiling and dancing along the way.</p> <p>There are plenty of insights: his penchant of Eastern philosophies and martial arts. His marriage and the birth of his children, and his fateful first encounters with banjo-whiz Bela Fleck.</p> <p>Most biographies of celebrities, and especially those of musicians, tend to focus on the ego-fed excesses, loneliness, drug and alcohol abuse, broken marriages and other tabloid fodder. They feed on our voyeuristic desires to view others dirty laundry, and all to often offer little insight into an artist's work. Hargett has chosen to take a higher road to document and display how the man's life, his love of life, of family, and of children give reason and cause for his music. Throughout the book are stories of Wooten's unselfish giving of his time to fans, to kids, and to friends. It is inspiring to read of how he would take time to talk with a young and hopeful bassist after a show offering advice and even a lesson. For a musician, a player of any instrument, this book is a must-read. Hargett and Wooten remind us that our lives are not made of music, but rather that music is made of our lives.</p> <p align="center">Me And My Bass Guitar: The Life and Music of Victor Lemonte Wooten </p> <p align="center">By Paul R. Hargett (Amberock Publications) is available at many bookstores or by visiting </p> <p align="center"><a href="http://www.meandmybassguitar.com/">www.meandmybassguitar.com </a></p> <p align="center">or </p> <p align="center"><a href="http://www.amberock.net/">www.amberock.net </a></p> <p>&nbsp; </p>
     



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