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Jazz Articles about Bela Fleck

6
Album Review

Bela Fleck: Rhapsody In Blue

Read "Rhapsody In Blue" reviewed by Doug Collette


It's a long way from India to Broadway, but Bela Fleck makes the journey in high style for Rhapsody in Blue. It follows the altogether exotic As We Speak (Thirty Tigers, 2023), the combination of which further a case for the banjoist/composer/bandleader as an eclectic musical explorer comparable to Pat Metheny. Beginning in the slow-but-sure, occasionally fitful way this album's concept came together, “Rhapsody in Blue (grass)" features seemingly conventional banjo voicings alternated with George Gershwin's inimitable progressions. ...

9
Album Review

Bela Fleck: As We Speak

Read "As We Speak" reviewed by Doug Collette


As We Speak is an emphatic continuation of banjoist Bela Fleck's eclectic adventures dating back to his high school days. It is thus only fitting that this LP's title alludes to the ongoing artistic process wherein creativity can ensue, virtually non-stop, no matter what other dialogue(s) might be going on at the time. In fact, the trio of Fleck, tabla master Zakir Hussain and bassist Edgar Meyer have collaborated in the past--see The Melody of Rhythm (Koch, 2009). ...

2
Liner Notes

Bass Extremes: S'Low Down

Read "Bass Extremes: S'Low Down" reviewed by Chris Jisi


Thirty years ago, a simple pairing changed the trajectory of bass. Steve Bailey and Victor Wooten, bonded by their mutual fretboard wizardry, sharp wit, and teaching philosophies, formed Bass Extremes, and the instrument and its community were forever transformed. The concept was quite ambitious. Steve was a rapidly ascending anchor for Dizzy Gillespie, Paquito D'Rivera and the Rippingtons, who had found his voice on the 6-string fretless bass and was taking the instrument to uncharted heights, with a soon to ...

1
Album Review

Rob Silverman: Drumology Volume 3

Read "Drumology Volume 3" reviewed by Jim Worsley


The beat goes on. Yes, that was a big hit for Sonny & Cher back in 1967. However, here it references the third volume of drummer Rob Silverman's Drumology series. The formula seems to be working, so why not keep pounding them out? Again all proceeds go to the Neil Peart Fund for brain cancer research at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. And the core band stays intact, with Silverman being joined by brother Michael Silverman on piano and keyboards, bassist Larry ...

4
Album Review

Bela Fleck and Toumani Diabate: The Ripple Effect

Read "The Ripple Effect" reviewed by Doug Collette


The Ripple Effect is the coup de grace of Bela Fleck's ten year-plus excursion into the African roots of his chosen instrument of the banjo, originally titled Throw Down Your Heart (Rounder, 2009). Part of a larger set comprised of both video and audio on DVD/CD, The Complete Africa Sessions (Craft Recordings, 2020), these ten concert culls are also available as a double set of vinyl that capture the natural, fluent chemistry between this banjoist extraordinaire and West African kora ...

4
Live Review

Bela Fleck and The Marcus Roberts Trio: Oakland, CA, August 31, 2012

Read "Bela Fleck and The Marcus Roberts Trio: Oakland, CA, August 31, 2012" reviewed by Ken Vermes


Béla Fleck and Marcus RobertsYoshi'sOakland, CAAugust 31, 2012Seeing banjoist Béla Fleck and pianist Marcus Roberts is like a roller coaster ride through new musical places. The two recently gave one of the most exciting shows in Yoshi's history, just in time to celebrate the well-known club's forty year anniversary.In four decades of Yoshi's, there has rarely, if ever, been anything quite like Fleck's performance with the Marcus Roberts Trio, in support of their ...

12
Album Review

Bela Fleck & The Marcus Roberts Trio: Across The Imaginary Divide

Read "Across The Imaginary Divide" reviewed by Doug Collette


Across The Imaginary Divide, the collaboration between banjoist Béla Fleck and The Marcus Roberts Trio, is as adventurous as its title suggests. And the fruit of these four musicians' labor is as seamless as their approach is fearless.The opening moments of “Some Roads Lead Home" demonstrate that the modesty with which the foursome interacts does not belie their skills. There is no showboating, as Fleck's acoustic instrument gives way to pianist Roberts' and their fluidity carries over to ...


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