What Did He Say? review by Victor Wooten

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  • Released: Aug 19, 1997
  • Sound: 6
  • Lyrics: 4
  • Overall Impression: 6
  • Reviewer's score: 5.3 Decent
  • Users' score: 7.5 (14 votes)
Victor Wooten: What Did He Say?

Sound — 6
While this album has it's up and down moments, it is a solid, well constructed effort by Wooten. This album (being his second) opens with track yo victa which consists of essentially that. We are then led through the grinding, loud, a-rhythmic title track, What Did He Say. After the end of that you are wondering if he's going to be done soon. But Mr. Wooten never fails to disappoint. He follows with the tightly constructed, harmonic laden, over the cover that is What You Won't Do For Love. From here the album only gets weirder. The next track of notice is the very poignant racial commentary that comes in the form of Don't Wanna Cry No More. This is closely followed by The Loneliest Monk. A winding 3/4 symphonic jam that touches briefly on Wooten's spiritual experiences. The next and last track of interest is Wooten's incredible arrangement of Norwegian Wood. Starting in an eerie harmonic minor key, Wooten works his way through incredible twists and turns, winding his way into the classic Beatles tune. Other than this, I think that this album is comprised of songs in which Wooten was trying too hard to make a statement, and not trying hard enough to make music. The actual recording quality of the album is good, however the producing leaves a little to be desired. There are several points in the album where the music either stops, or interludes or is introduced by either a fake radio program, Wooten's mother, or various other unknown voices. Some parts of this album are more like, why did he do it? All this being said however, I am a huge fan of Wooten's; him, his tone, his basses, even his outlook on playing and life. This album is a reflection of those sometime esoteric views. While I would have liked to hear more straight solo bass arrangements from him, all in all, if you can wade through all of the lyrics, and other voices, you will hear some astounding bass work from this bass god.

Lyrics — 4
While the lyrics in songs such as Don't Wanna Cry and The Loneliest Monk make social commentary and are highly poignant, when you play bass like Victor Wooten does, why would you have singing, ever? Now that being said, the tone of his voice is very good, and he uses it well. He also has some very nice vocal harmonies, and some very strange, haunting counterpoint.

Overall Impression — 6
While this album is tightly constructed it doesn't really stack up to Wootens main competition, (Jaco Pastorius) in my mind. Jaco knows he is a really good bass player and that should be enough. we are just graced with his playing. While Wooten does that, I just think that he should do it more. Get an ego Victor! Despite the inordinate amount of overdubbing and effects on this album I think that it is well done in parts. Especially for the style of Victor Wooten, it is overproduced.

2 comments sorted by best / new / date

    this guy sounds deranged and isolated. and a review is usually on the album so dont go talking about other bassists.