LIVE: The Victor Wooten Trio @ The Egg, 12/10/17

December 13th, 2017, 4:00 pm by Greg

By Joel Patterson

10 BEST LIST: The 10 best things about the Victor Wooten Trio’s concert at The Egg last Sunday‚Ķ

1. The Egg: The Swyer Theater is a modest, elegant, well-run venue. Parking is free and easy; the friendly staff is eager to show you the way; every seat in the house is excellent; and the ventilation system is marvelous. (Pack hundreds of people into an enclosed space, and it better be.)

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2. The genre: The classic style of funk that Victor cultivates is inherently exciting, arousing and dance-friendly, as many of the ushers demonstrated.

3. The trio: Drummer Dennis Chambers has a red-hot, biting precision and saxophonist Bob Franceschini has an airy, expressive, floating style. The music explodes from the stage as though these guys are tapping into a power source from another dimension.

4. Purity of purpose: Wooten seems like a simple man, in the best sense of the word, unencumbered by dogma or politics or conspiracy theories. The long apprenticeships that each of the players has served on the treadmill of the music business have honed their focus to a single goal – creating music that speaks directly to the soul.

5. Redemption: Whitney Houston has gone from a tragic, crash ‘n’ burn cautionary tale to a fondly remembered star – one that you can mention and the audience will smile.

6. Appropriate technology: Their use of effects, pedals and electronic gadgetry is tasteful and deliberate. When Franceschini calls up a harmonizer, and the sax note he’s holding blooms into a chorus, or when Wooten loops a simple riff and boogies extensively over it – the result is a mesmerizing exploration that’s thrilling to
watch.

7. Not everything went flawlessly: Sometimes the patches didn’t engage, and a direct box onstage failed. It’s somehow refreshing to see the professionalism and skill that appears when stuff happens.

8. Breathtaking adroitness: Speaking of boogying over a riff, Wooten’s elaborate solo “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” (which morphed into Nat King Cole’s “Christmas Song”), executed with the help of a drastically cutaway bass played with a bow, was, simply put, awe-inspiring.

9. Superb sound: Their guy Jack Trifiro delivered a full, rich, gloriously clear sonic palate, each instrument blended impeccably into the whole without excess. The kick drum in particular was fat and thunderous.

10. The crash cymbal with 100 holes: Far to Chambers’ right, he hit the thing only 12 times in the course of the show, and trilled on it once, but it had a special shimmer and sheen. See enough shows and you are struck by such things.

UPCOMING: Bass virtuoso Victor Wooten has already punched his return trip ticket to Greater Nippertown, this time as a member of Bela Fleck & the Flecktones at Tanglewood’s Ozawa Hall in Lenox at 8pm on Friday, June 29. Tickets go on sale to the general public at 10am on Monday (December 18).

ALSO READ
Michael Hochanadel’s review at The Daily Gazette

2 thoughts on “LIVE: The Victor Wooten Trio @ The Egg, 12/10/17”

  1. Harry Thymes says:

    Joel, nice review of the show but just a comment on the parking. The visitor parking lot underneath The EGG lot isn’t always free as usually there is an attendant in the parking booth to collect a fee. No one was in the booth that evening for some reason so anyone who parked there saved five dollars . Don’t let Governor Cuomo know OGS is dysfunctional!. He has more serious matters to be concerned about.

  2. Stan Johnson says:

    Victor’s clinic for bass players that afternoon at Drome Sound was very educational and motivating for those of us who aspire to be better on an instrument that isn’t very flashy. Some of his best points were made in demonstrating why bass players are part of the rhythm section in a band and how to easily turn a wrong note into a right note: you are never more than a half step away from the right note.
    And his comments about music theory education for children was right on: Let them play by ear and for fun at first and worry about theory later. Just as in learning a language, you let children take part in conversations, rather than saying, “No, you’ve got to learn grammar before I will talk to you.” Brilliant!

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