Victor Wooten on his S.M.V supergroup with Stanley Clarke and Marcus Miller: “It was like Michael Jordan and LeBron James asking you to be on their basketball team!”

Stanley Clarke, Marcus Miller and Victor Wooten perform on stage on the second day of the North Sea Jazz Festival on July 11, 2009 in Rotterdam, Netherlands.
(Image credit: Photo by Peter Van Breukelen/Redferns)

Formed in 2008, S.M.V has been hailed as a historic coming together of three of the bass guitar’s greatest players: Stanley Clarke, Marcus Miller and Victor Wooten. What could have been another bolted-together ‘superband’ actually resulted in a rather fine studio album – full of surprisingly varied and expansive music – as well as a memorable world tour that drew tens of thousands to see them wherever they went. 

For Victor Wooten, it must have been quite an experience to work so closely with two other giants of the bass world? “Imagine doing something that you really love to do,” says Victor. “Then think about your two heroes in whatever that field is – if you’re a basketball player and all of sudden Michael Jordan and LeBron James come and ask you to be on their team – how would that make you feel?

“I had to deal with all of that and had to remember to step up and be a part of the team rather than just sit back and be amazed by it – which would have been easy to do because I could easily sit back and just watch these amazing guys. In the recording studio, onstage and just travelling on planes and buses there was just a lot to learn.” 

Stanley Clarke and Victor Wooten of SMV perform on stage at as part of Jazz a Vienne on July 5, 2009 in Vienne, France.

(Image credit: Photo by David Redfern/Redferns)

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Nick Wells

Nick Wells was the Editor of Bass Guitar magazine from 2009 to 2011, before making strides into the world of Artist Relations with Sheldon Dingwall and Dingwall Guitars. He's also the producer of bass-centric documentaries, Walking the Changes and Beneath the Bassline, as well as Production Manager and Artist Liaison for ScottsBassLessons. In his free time, you'll find him jumping around his bedroom to Kool & The Gang while hammering the life out of his P-Bass.