When I first heard Victor Wooten's album, Sword and Stone, I thought that it was perfect coffee house music, not just for the fact that it would be the ideal accompaniment to drinking coffee and enjoying a snack, but for the fact that the album percolates along in a very pleasant fashion.
Wooten worked from the beginning with jazz banjoist, Bela Fleck. Wooten is a very accomplished bass player. His various stringed instruments that he plays are all in the lower register, and it is this dependence on the lower register that generates that percolating feeling that I referred to earlier.
Wooten works in more of an R 'n B groove than the more bluegrass-tinged textures that he did as one of Fleck's Flecktones.
The bulk of the album has a very textured fusion jazz feel to it. His accomplished fingers fly all over his various bass instruments, but it never feels like he is just showing off his virtuosity. All of the runs that he exceuctes over his instruments sound like they belong there.
Wooten considers himself a spiritual person, but not bound to any particular denomination. He has written a novel that is about his faith in both God and music. The only track that alludes to any sort of religious faith is mildly gospel-tinged, Pass Me Not, O Gentle Savior, but if you do not adhere to any religious faith yourself, you don't have to worry about hearing any religious lyrics, this track is strictly instrumental and any sort of spiritual feeling comes through the music alone.
When Wooten does tread into lyrical territory, it's on a track like, Keep It Low, which has more generic R 'n B lyrical concerns and not any overtly religious ones.
As I said, the album percolates along quite nicely for most of the tracks. But, he Wooten does like to mix it up occasionally and throw in a more urgent sounding track, like, A Woman's Strength.
This is a very easy album to recommend to people of varied tastes. It will appeal mostly to people who enjoy lighter acoustic jazz and smooth R 'n B. I would like to see music like this become more plentiful on the R 'n B charts.
It's alos not bad for a relaxed Sunday morning when you're enjoying a coffee and a sweet roll.