Palmystery. Diseño: Jennifer Ancízar / Magazine AM:PM.
Palmystery. Diseño: Jennifer Ancízar / Magazine AM:PM.

The Scartched Record: Palmystery

6 minutos / Carlos M. Mérida

27.10.2020 / Worn-out record,  Reviews

It seems impossible that Victor Wooten's bass is going to stop. It does finally, of course. But when it is playing it seems that this will never happen. If you've already listened to this album a thousand times and you know the songs, then you're going to run out of breath while you emulate the instrument with your humming. This gentleman is a uniform liquid force, a stream of restless and steady thumb. It will not wait for you to breathe to continue.

He has an incredible technique, but the most important thing is that before being a bassist he is a musician, before a musician, an artist, and before an artist, a good man. The unspeakable is nothing else in your fingers. One might think that for a bassist-signed album, it doesn't contain as many bass solos. The disagrees. It has what it should have: not many, not few, ”he tells us. He has not come to test his prowess. Whoever seeks only the skill must try to go to the circus. Palmystery (Heads Up International, 2008) is neither a freak show, nor a glass counter. Dexterity, according to the youngest of the Wooten Five, is nothing more than a vehicle (an important one, but a vehicle) towards freedom.

Let's listen to The Lesson, track four, or Cambo, track two. In one, the main theme is in charge of the bass, in the other it is the responsibility of the voices, and the one with the strings just supervises the show from the background, making sure that everything goes well. In both cases, Victor's execution is as moving without deploying his conjurer arsenal, as when he does get his hands on his Fodera and massacre him. Calm or vertigo are only a consequence of being in front of two different instances of emotion, but it does not disappear - as it happens to many very virtuous jazz musicians, but who buy the ticket of bodybuilding and you see them anxious for that end nonsense of the subject to begin to show.

‘’I Saw God’’, the third and only track with significant lyrical participation, is one of the few preaching chitchat that I can gladly download over and over again. That piece is beautiful. And the title is not symbolic. Here is how the character met God one day. Just that simple. The most beautiful thing that man has as a species are the mechanisms that he has invented to deal with himself, the turns he makes. How it has to triangulate, go out of itself to find. It's almost comical, if it weren't so tragic really. The most important of these mechanisms is, of course, religion (not the Church, which is religion turned into structure). The religious fact, when it occurs from the bottom up, from man to God, when it appears as a matter ventilated in solitude, which does not try to include you, is an absolutely moving episode. And that's what happens in this song when the chorus says: "I don't care if you believe me at all./ I know who I saw, and it was God." It is a preaching, if we understand that every human act contains a tacit moral manifesto, which is what Sartre referred to in his famous lecture ‘’Existentialism is a humanism’’ when he pointed out: “By saying that man chooses, we understand that each one he chooses from us, but we also mean by this that, by choosing himself, he chooses all men. Indeed, there is none of our acts that, in creating the man we want to be, does not at the same time create an image of man as we consider him to be ”. But it is a deinstitutionalized preaching, in the first person indicatively; not like in these terribly personalistic Philosophy courses offered by some Dominican educational centers, where they may be talking about the State, the constitution or the economy, which will always touch your balls a little with the fetus and euthanasia.

I don't remember exactly when this album came to me — to which I always return — but I do remember the shock and the butterflies. I was hooked from ‘’2 Timers’’, which is the overture, when I caught Wooten the trick of introducing himself. The piece may have started directly with the theme, but it comes 45 seconds after the start. Here Victor does show himself, he does speculate a bit, as if he were heating up. He wins those 45 seconds before the album really starts, so we know more or less what it is about. You can go if you want,” he says,“ and then they break the metals.

In contrast, Happy Song is just that, a happy, catchy, pop song. The third-to-last box on the board is like the gesture that the tramp Charlot makes to Paulette Goddard at the end of Modern Times, when he tells her to smile before the two of them walk away, without a kilo. It ends with a zapada that dissipates in fade, and one can imagine the musicians dying of laughter, simply enjoying the miracle.

In contrast, Happy Song is just that, a happy, catchy, pop song. The third-to-last box on the board is like the gesture that the tramp Charlot makes to Paulette Goddard at the end of Modern Times, when she points out that he is smiling before the two of them walk away, without a kilo. It ends with a zapada that dissipates in fade, and one can imagine the musicians dying of laughter, simply enjoying the miracle.

The closing of the album is Us 2, a love tune. A bit silly, the truth, especially the subject, which seems like a little music of those that they put in the secondary school virtual lessons, the ones from the students copy the slide. Victor was looking at his girlfriend in their privacy while things got out of control. But at this point, what does it matter? If you already gave me a thick album. Hard to think that you could download five Victor Wooten albums, twice, in the same time you see a shitty season of Stranger Things.

Carlos M. Mérida

Oidor. Coleccionista sin espacio. Leguleyo. Temeroso de las abejas y de los vientos huracanados.

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