Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Tales From the Acoustic Planet
Genres: Country, Jazz, Pop, Rock
Bela Fleck has completely transcended any and all expectations we have for the banjo. Having spent the better part of five previous years exploring a variety of formal and improvised designs with his virtuoso ensemble, Bel... more »
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Bela Fleck has completely transcended any and all expectations we have for the banjo. Having spent the better part of five previous years exploring a variety of formal and improvised designs with his virtuoso ensemble, Bela Fleck & The Flecktones, this banjo innovator chose to celebrate a variety of musical friends and influences on this homey, elegant, immaculately recorded aural novella--one that clearly links him to such progressive jazz/fusion forebears as Return to Forever and Oregon (not to mention Bill Monroe & His Bluegrass Boys). While a manic hoe-down like "Cheeseballs in Cowtown" illustrates his command of post-modern bluegrass, his freeform duet "Bicyclops" (with mentor Chick Corea) is indicative of this great musician's astonishing technical and emotional range. Elsewhere tunes such as "Up and Running," "The Great Circle Route," and "System Seven" seem to reconcile his complex rhythmic inclinations with stately folkish themes, mixing traditional bluegrass instrumentation with the likes of electric bass, drums, piano, and oboe. And on extended forms such as "Circus of Regrets" and "Jayme Lynn," Fleck showcases his ever-expanding breadth and range as a modern composer. --Chip Stern
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Member CD Reviews
Marianne E. from MAPLEWOOD, MO
Reviewed on 8/7/2006...
Haunting and eerie. Classic Bela Fleck.
This Album Satifies My Craving for "Strength in Numbers"!!!
Volkert Volkersz | Snohomish, WA United States | 01/30/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Many years ago, I discovered Bela Fleck through his participation in "The Telluride Sessions," by Strength in Numbers, which is among my top 5 all-time favorite recordings. I try to look for recordings where two or more members of Strength in Numbers appear together, which are invariably satisfying listening experiences for me.That is the case here, where Fleck is joined on various tracks by Strength members members Jerry Douglas (dobro), Edgar Meyer (string bass), and Sam Bush (mandolin). Fiddler/violinist Mark O'Conner is the only missing on this album, and the fiddling is beatifully covered here by Stuart Duncan. His other prominent guests, Tony Rice (guitar), Bruce Hornsby (piano), Chick Corea (piano), Branford Marsalis (sax), Victor Wooten (bass) and Future Man (percussion) need no further mention here.Given the 1995 recording date of "Acoustic Planet," one gets a taste of where Fleck has been, with and without the Flecktones, but more importantly, in hindsight, one can see glimpses of where he was headed, most notably in his Flecktone recordings with Paul McCandless on reeds.This type of recording would be any musician's dream, to be able to play some tunes with your friends and heroes. Fleck is one of those virtuosos who has been afforded that luxury. And he pulls it off beautifully here. It's a tasteful blend of folk, bluegrass, jazz, acoustic, blues and classical music. I agree that this album comes off as a complete work, and not just a collection of individual instrumentals. Highly recommended!"
Thomas Stanton | Los Angeles, CA USA | 01/02/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"As a banjoist, this is my favorite Bela Fleck album that I own and frequently listen to. The music on this album is so unique that it cannot be classified within a single genre, but the most appropriate would probably be the umbrella genre of "jazz." My favorite tracks on this album are "Up and Running," "Three Bridges Home," "System Seven," and "Jayme Lynn." Many fusions of genres take place throughout this album with brilliant dynamics, emotion, and superb musicianship. The guests on this album are great, including Victor Wooten, Future Man, Edgar Meyer, Jerry Douglas, Stuart Duncan, and Sam Bush. I also really enjoyed mandolinist Matt Mundy's playing on several tracks, whom I had never heard before. Bela takes all of his bluegrass buds and a couple of Flecktones along for this musical voyage. I think that these recordings capture some precious few moments of enlightened music and a significant event in the evolution of the banjo."