Rare are the opportunities for a concert goer to experience quite as bodacious of a sound as that of four masterful bass players and two world class drummers delivering a battery of original sounding funk, soul and highly technical jazz instrumentation to the belting lyrics of a talented and vivacious singer. And that was just the second song of the Victor Wooten Band’s first set. The song was titled Brooklyn after the NYC borough where Vinny Fodera’s legendary Fedora Bass factory is located and where Victor’s signature Yin Yang Deluxe Bass was made. The new lineup for Wooten’s band is a roll call of heros for fusion jazz fans billed plainly with the following phrase: “New band. New Sound. New Experience.”
There was barely an untrained eye in the crowd as the band took the stage at the Beachland Ballroom Tuesday evening in the land of Cleve. The first hint of what was to come was an orchestral arrangement of the Flecktones’ classic Sunset Road playing over the PA as the musician crawled to their perches amidst a sea of the worlds’ finest made instruments scattered homogeneously across the stage.
Victor Wooten unexpectedly donned a Cello and began plucking and bowing at its strings as the remaining rhythm section – i.e. the rest of the band – churned up the melody for Crystal Peterson to take center stage and serenade the audience with the original song titled A Woman’s Strength. Her slender and youthful appearance is merely bonus for the gazing eyes of the audience because Peterson is as talented as they come. Her incredible vocal power and unique flow was demonstrated during Brooklyn with Victor at last on his bass guitar as she led the band through a journey of soulful lyrics followed by a section of co-syncopation with Victor and his bass notes, an impressive skill to say the least.
Two of our favorite bassists joined forces last night at the Belly Up in Aspen, where Vic Wooten of The Flecktones sat in with the Mike Gordon Band for the Phish original Meat, a cover of Sailin’ Shoes by Little Feat and the Tom Cleary-written Crumblin’ Bones. Wooten has a long history with Gordon, having first guested with Phish for most of the second set in Salt Lake City, Utah on August 21, 1993 and then again on July 9, 1997 in Lyon, France.
Mike has also sat in with the Flecktones and appeared as a guest instructor at Wooten’s Bass Camp. The Mike Gordon Band also debuted the Moss track Flashback at last night’s show. Next up for Gordon and his band is a performance the Ogden Theatre in Denver tonight.
Mike Gordon Band @ Belly Up, Aspen, Colorado
Set 1: Another Door, The Void, Pretend, Spiral, Meat, Sailin’ Shoes, Crumblin’ Bones, Flashback, Dig Further Down
Set 2: Mount Philo > Horizon Line, Just a Rose, Easy To Slip > River Niger > Only A Dream, Going Up Home to Live in Green Pastures, Cities, Lit O Bit, Sugar Shack
Encore: Soul Food Man
 Victor Wooten on second bass.
Notes: Victor Wooten sat in on a second bass guitar for “Meat,” “Sailin’ Shoes” and “Crumblin’ Bones.” This gig featured the debut of Mike’s original “Flashback.”
For this week’s installment we turn south once again, continuing the nonstop coverage of Langerado into which we’ve somehow fallen.
But, for us, the true beauty of the Interweb lies in the ability to live something in reality and then live it all over again online. And for alla’youse that didn’t get a chance to make it down there, we hope all this junk helps bring you at least a little closer to being there with us. Or makes you insanely jealous. Either way.
A spongeworthy YouTube user named mmanzella has posted some great clips from the festival, and most of them follow below. If you know me at all it’ll come as no clever surprise that I’m leading off with the nine-minute twofer of Faced with Love and Garden Part III from the Tea Leaf Green set on Friday afternoon. I’d prefer the monster Georgie P, but this is an incredible consolation. These guys already had me permanently hooked, but I think they made believers out of lotta people down at the ‘Rado. That makes me smile downstairs.
I’ve expressed my love for the My Morning Jacket set in unequivocal terms, and I’m thankful the organizers brought them down to play this year. This video of Wordless Chorus doesn’t quite display the aural sodomy they unleashed on the masses, but it’s pretty damn cool nonetheless
And for a look-in on the band that many people call MMJ Lite, here’s The Funeral from Band of Horses’ set on Sunday (the label is debatable, but you can definitely plan for both sides of the debate to state strong cases)
I chatted up one security dude by the media tent that was really impressed by Bela Fleck’s set — this tune goes out to him
The first sit-in of the festival provided the first “Niiiiice” moment of the festival. The too-much-bass factor messes with the mike a little bit, but here’s a cool video of Assembly of Dust with Victor Wooten
This clip doesn’t sound so hot, but that might just be the band. I’m obliged to post this version of First Tube that Trey closed the set with. One comment under the video is kinda ruthless: “what a waste guy just needs to give it up kinda hope he goes to jail and gets raped everyday”
We don’t wish rape on anybody ’round here. Diphtheria, though? All the time.
YouTube is an incredible source for finding rare performances (I know, I know, we landed on the moon!). Last week I was fooling around looking for Police videos when I came across an amazing clip of Alanis Morrisette performing King of Pain. Her rendition blew me away — see a further description below — and sent me searching for other crazy covers on the video-sharing site. Seek and ye shall find.
Over the next two weeks, The B List will take a look at these unique cover versions of some of my favorite songs. We’ll kick it off this week with 10 incredible covers from truly unexpected sources, like Faith No More playing War Pigs, Ween tackling Motorhead and Death Cab for Cutie channeling Devo. Read on for 10 must-watch covers you can pass onto your cool friends…
Thanks to the headiest message board in town, the glorious PhantasyTour, we’ve got a great sample of Mike Gordon playing bass with Victor Wooten’s band on 12/5/06. “What’s his name? What’s his name? Mike Gordon, Mike Gordon.”