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Jazz Articles


Chick Corea & Bela Fleck: Two

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The collaboration of pianist/composer Chick Corea and banjoist/composer Bela Fleck is a magnificent meeting of the minds, one as unlikely as jazz of any era is likely to see and hear. The ever-so-serious and often precious approach of the former is largely contrasted by the playful, though occasionally cute-to-a-fault latter, but the complementary nature of their playing together renders those blemishes of attitude moot precisely because, based largely in the spontaneity of the moments as captured on this set, the ...


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

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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 ...


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

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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 ...


Bela Fleck (BEY-Lah Fleck): See Curious, Creative Mind

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Béla Fleck has taken his instrument--the banjo--to heights that seemed unimaginable prior to couple decades ago. There have been virtuoso players in its long history, but the sounds Fleck elicits through electronics, and the musical landscapes he treads upon, are groundbreaking.He's got all that in his pocket. But as a twenty-something musician whose prowess was gaining notoriety with the bluegrass crossover band New Grass Revival, Fleck still had his heart set on other things. He had a wider ...


Bela Fleck: Rocket Science

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The musicianship on Béla Fleck and The Flecktones' Rocket Science radiates a sense of play that was missing from the group's last recorded work The Hidden Land (Columbia, 2006). There's also a sense of adventure here that hasn't really been in evidence since Three Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (Warner Bros, 1993), the first album recorded after the departure of original Flecktone Howard Levy. After an eighteen-year absence, Levy is back in the fold on this record and ...


Bela Fleck & The Flecktones: Rocket Science

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Béla Fleck & The Flecktones Rocket Science E One Music Group2011 Some say you can't go back, but that's not always true. Emerging from his formative years as a rising star in the blue/newgrass community, banjoist Béla Fleck lept onto a much bigger radar with the release of Béla Fleck & The Flecktones (Warner Bros., 1990), after forming the group in 1988. Stretching and, in some cases, breaking down the boundaries of jazz, ...


Bela Fleck: Throw Down Your Heart

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Béla FleckThrow Down Your Heart Docurama Films2009

With Throw Down Your Heart Rounder, 2009), banjo revolutionary Béla Fleck took his instrument full circle, back to Africa where the instrument originated. The third in his ongoing Tales from the Acoustic Planet series, it was the end result of a 2005, five-week trip to four African countries where Fleck met with local musicians, playing and exchanging ideas and values--musical and otherwise. While ...


Bela Fleck: Throw Down Your Heart

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An exemplary adventure in cross-cultural music making, banjoist Béla Fleck's Throw Down Your Heart deserves every bit of hyperbole that is going to be thrown at it. The third volume in Fleck's Tales From The Acoustic Planet series, it's subtitled “Africa Sessions" and finds him in East and West Africa, mostly on field recordings or in improvised studios, playing with musicians from Mali, Madagascar, Tanzania, Uganda, Senegal, South Africa, Cameroon and Gambia. It's simply sublime.

Though the cast ...

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