“S’Low Down” Marks The Triumphant Return of Wooten and Bailey’s Bass Extremes
Two decades after their last release, Victor Wooten and Steve Bailey have unleashed the third Bass Extremes album. S’Low Down features the virtuosos with drummer extraordinaire Gregg Bissonette showing just how much the bass can do – with or without technical fireworks.
“As you get older and wiser, you learn how to say more with less,” Wooten says.
“We tell our students that a lot, ‘slow down,’” Bailey adds. “For most musicians, myself included, you spend the first part of your career proving what you can play and trying to innovate and get it out there. What this album typifies for me is, been there, done that. Now it’s about what’s the least amount we can bring to the music and still make it work. How we can move slower and actually go faster.”
2001’s Just Add Water had some guest spots from Oteil Burbridge, Anthony Jackson, John Patitucci, and Billy Sheehan. Burbridge, Patitucci, and Sheehan return for S’Low Down, but Wooten and Bailey included even more bass greats this go around: Bootsy Collins, Marcus Miller, Ron Carter, Susan Hagen, Edgar Meyer, Linda May Han Oh, Joe Dart, Mike Pope, Whit Browne, and Justin Chancellor. That’s not to mention a few more unusual bass appearances. Bela Fleck guests on bass banjo, while jazz guitarist Mike Stern gets down on a six-string bass. Howard Levy even dons a bass harmonica, and saxophonist Jeff Coffin gets deep on the bass clarinet and bass flute.
With such a diverse cast of musicians, it’s clear this record has a rather expansive palette, even if much of it is derived from the bass. Bailey’s chiming and vocalistic six-string fretless work with Wooten’s spectacular fingerstyle and slap serve as the foundation of the songs, but their compositions lean into each player’s style. “Ping Pong” has Meyer’s perfect Arco playing for the melody, while “Home Bass” seamlessly weaves the jazz tones of Miller, Carter, and Patitucci into one cohesive song.
Check out how they incorporate Tool’s Justin Chancellor into “Just-in Time”:
No matter the genre, it’s clear that the fundamental sound of this album is one of joy: in music, in the bass, and in the camaraderie that comes with it all. If you’re an extreme fan of the bass, this is a must-have album.
Bailey and Wooten are currently on tour as Bass Extremes with drummer Derico Watson. Check below for the full schedule.
S’Low Down is available now digitally through iTunes, Amazon MP3, and other streaming platforms.
S’Low Down Track List:
- Ready, Set , Slow (Bootsy Collins)
- Home Bass (Marcus Miller, Ron Carter, John Patitucci)
- he Chrome Addict (Susan Hagen, Oteil Burbridge, Howard Levy, Béla Fleck, Jeff Coffin)
- Mess That Up? (Matt White, Mike Stern)
- Ping Pong (Edgar Meyer)
- Oh Tell Billy (Linda Oh, Oteil Burbridge, Billy Sheehan)
- Patchwork (John Patitucci)
- Silent Night In Tunisia (John Patitucci, Joe Dart, Whit Browne, Mike Pope)
- Just-in Time (Justin Chancellor)
- S’Low Down
Bass Extremes Fall 2022 Tour:
|Aug 28||The Egg - Lewis A. Sawyer Theatre||Albany, NY|
|Aug 30||State Theatre of State College||State College, PA|
|Aug 31||Center for the Arts of Homer||Homer, NY|
|Sep 1||Sherman Theater||Stroudsburg, PA|
|Sep 2||Flying Monkey||Plymouth, NH|
|Sep 3||Jimmy’s Jazz & Blues Club||Portsmouth, NH|
|Sep 4||Higher Ground Ballroom||South Burlington, VT|
|Sep 6||Woodlands Tavern||Columbus, OH|
|Sep 30||Hillberry Music Festival||Eureka Springs, AR|
|Oct 1||The Grandel||St. Louis, MO|
|Oct 3||Mars Music Hall||Huntsville, AL|
|Oct 4||Miller Theater||Augusta, GA|
|Oct 5||Ponte Verda Concert Hall||Ponte Vedra, FL|
|Oct 6||The Key West Theater||Key West, FL|
|Oct 7||Culture Room||Fort Lauderdale, FL|
|Oct 8||Circle Theater||Sebring, FL|
|Oct 9||Capitol Theatre||Clearwater, FL|
|Oct 11||Hargray Capitol Theatre||Macon, GA|
|Oct 13||Last Concert Café||Houston, TX|
|Oct 14||Granada Theater||Dallas, TX|
|Oct 15||UTOPIAfest 2022||Burnet, TX|
|Oct 16||House of Blues||New Orleans, LA|
|Nov 9||City Winery||Boston, MA|
|Nov 11||Waldo Theatre||Waldoboro, ME|
|Nov 12||BOMBYX Center for Arts & Equity||Northampton, MA|
|Nov 17||Armory Event Center||Fort Collins, CO|
|Nov 18||Lulu’s Downstairs||Manitou Springs, CO|
|Nov 19||Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom||Denver, CO|
|Nov 20||Boulder Theater||Boulder, CO|