Four Ways To Be Astonishing

21 08 2008

Jim Dietzel posted this Victor Wooten performance of “Norwegian Wood” in the FriendFeed Jazz Lovers room today. It was so great I had to share it.

Why is this performance so astonishing?

  1. Surprise – He takes things we thought we knew (a classic Beatles tune, and the electric bass) and reminds us that there are always new creative possibilities.

    What could you do — right now — to reinvent something you’ve been thinking about the same old way?

  2. Solo – Victor plays this entirely on his own. It’s a risk. Will people understand the song right away? How far out can he stretch the melody until he loses us?

    How many of us are hiding behind the rest of our group, because we’re afraid to step out and take a chance on our own?

  3. Soul – Virtuoso technique is obviously a big part of what’s happening here. But it wouldn’t be compelling if we couldn’t feel the emotion underpinning it.

    If your work doesn’t reflect who you really are as a person, it may be technically perfect but it will always feel impersonal and unsatisfying to the people around you.

  4. Smile – I love Victor Wooten’s smile at the end of his solo. He enjoys his work and it shows.

    The Dalai Lama (who isn’t half the bass player Victor Wooten is) says, “Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions”.

    We should all play more. If we did, we’d smile more.




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