Victor Wooten has been a tireless innovator as both solo artist and as bassist with Bela Fleck and the Flecktones for nearly a quarter century. During that time, Wooten also has risen to prominence as an educator whose seemingly limitless virtuosity on the instrument is belied by his unassuming manner and oft-expressed belief that with hard work, eager ears and a certain modicum of talent, anything is possible. He’s left an indelible mark on the music, and the attitude behind the making of that music, since emerging as an electric bass wunderkind on level with greats like Jaco Pastorius, Stanley Clarke and a small handful of others.
It makes perfect sense that Wooten and his band have joined forces with the revered jam-based guitarist Jimmy Herring and his band for a tour. Herring – a member of Widespread Panic and a veteran of stints with Col. Bruce Hampton’s Aquarium Rescue Unit, the Allman Brothers Band, Jazz is Dead, and Phil Lesh & Friends – has just released the inspired new recording “Subject To Change Without Notice,” a collection that deftly navigates the interconnectedness of jam, funk, rock, jazz and folk idioms. Like Wooten, Herring is simply a stunning player.
The Victor Wooten Band and the Jimmy Herring Band perform at 8 p.m. Saturday in the Rockwell Hall Performing Arts Center, Buffalo State College (1300 Elmwood Ave.). Tickets are $40 to $45, $37 for seniors, and $15 for Buffalo State students (box office, www.buffalostatepac.org).
– Jeff Miers