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Musician

Bela Fleck

Born:

Just in case you aren't familiar with Béla Fleck, there are some who say he's the premiere banjo player in the world. Others claim that Béla has virtually reinvented the image and the sound of the banjo through a remarkable performing and recording career that has taken him all over the musical map and on a range of solo projects and collaborations. If you are familiar with Béla, you know that he just loves to play the banjo, and put it into unique settings. Born and raised in New York City, Béla began his musical career playing the guitar. In the early 1960's, while watching the Beverly Hillbillies, the bluegrass sounds of Flatt & Scruggs flowed out of the TV set and into his young brain. Earl Scruggs's banjo style hooked Béla's interest immediately

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Article: Interview

Zakir Hussain: Making Music, Part 1-2

Read "Zakir Hussain: Making Music, Part 1-2" reviewed by Ian Patterson


"Everybody wants to play with Zakir. He's amazing..." The words were spoken by Herbie Hancock, one of many musicians who paid tribute to the great Indian tabla player and composer Zakir Hussain on the occasion of his Lifetime Achievement Award from the San Francisco Jazz Centre in 2017. In a short film made for ...

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Article: Multiple Reviews

Global Folk and Fusions

Read "Global Folk and Fusions" reviewed by Geno Thackara


It's a wide world out there, yet as vast as it gets, there are always players finding common ground between its most far-flung corners. Naïsaam Jalal and Rhythms of Resistance Un Autre Monde Les Couleurs du Son2021 Ten years is an impressive tenure for any musical outfit, so Naïssam ...

Album

The Ripple Effect

Label: Craft Recordings
Released: 2020
Track listing: Bamako; Nashville; Snug Harbor; Elyne Road; Matitu/Buribalal; Manchester; Throw Down Your Heart; Kauonding Sissoko; Katmandu; Dueling Banjos.

Album

Harp vs. Harp

Label: ACT Music
Released: 2019
Track listing: Blueserinho; Acts; No Fear; Hope; Romance de Barrio; Santa Morena; Our Spanish Love Song; Manhã de Carnaval.

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Article: Hardly Strictly Jazz

2020 and Me

Read "2020 and Me" reviewed by Skip Heller


As I type this, it is December 8, 2020, the fortieth anniversary of John Lennon's murder. I was then a newly-minted barband guitarist, fifteen years old and thinking how the world —via the election of Ronald Reagan —and music had just suffered the worst season that could ever be. 2020 has been an ongoing ...

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Article: Album Review

Susan Alcorn Quintet: Pedernal

Read "Pedernal" reviewed by Troy Dostert


Pedal steel guitarist Susan Alcorn has achieved the enviable feat of commanding her own instrumental niche in the jazz world. Much like Toots Thielemans' harmonica, Gary Versace's accordion or Béla Fleck's banjo, she seems to have a unique role all to herself, at least until her substantial talents eventually spawn a host of imitators. From her ...

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Article: Radio

The Pat Metheny Songbook - A New Jazz Canon, Part 2

Read "The Pat Metheny Songbook - A New Jazz Canon, Part 2" reviewed by Ludovico Granvassu


This is the second part of our celebration of Pat Metheny's 66th birthday through an exploration of the best renditions of his work by other musicians. Metheny's signature compositional style inspired countless colleagues, even before he had released his first album. It's no surprise that more than four decades later, the renditions of his work can ...

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Article: 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 ...

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Article: Multiple Reviews

Chick Corea: Mr. Eclectic

Read "Chick Corea: Mr. Eclectic" reviewed by Doug Collette


It's altogether plausible to posit Chick Corea's career as one of, if not the most, colorful in all of contemporary jazz. And that very declaration arrives apart from recognition of the varied shapes and sizes of the groups he dubbed 'Return To Forever.' In recent years, apart from notable collaborations on stage and in the studio ...


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