I'd like to say a few short words about Victor Wooten: I am much taller than he is. (NOTE: Ha! Get it? Short, words...I'm taller...That's funny.)
I mentioned Victor once before in this series, but he's worth bringing up again. The first time I had heard of him, my old roommate Matt the Cat had seen a Bela Fleck concert and came back with their CD and said, "You have to listen to this band. Their bassist is incredible. He's their secret weapon!"
Later, I went on a road trip with my friend Mark, and saw that Bela Fleck did literally introduce Victor as the band's secret weapon. And he was right. Victor can do amazing things on the bass, even playing two at the same time, Stanley Jordan-style.
I may have mentioned before that I also play bass, so he's an incredible influence. Victor plays a 4-string, which I think is cool because he can get more sound out of it than most bassists can get from a 6-stringed instrument. He crosses and blends styles, from funk to jazz to classical, and pushed himself to further his own learning. He holds workshops (I recently saw him for free at guitar center here in Columbus) and helps other musicians learn to grow their own talents.
I did have the chance to meet him once. It was after a Bela Fleck and the Flecktones show at Cain Park in Cleveland. That's a very small, hard-to-find amphitheater. After the show all three members of the band hung around to chat with the fans. There were only about a hundred people there, and not all stayed. It was very cool to meet one of my idols and shake his hand.
And, once again, I've covered two letters in one day.