Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Bela Fleck & Flecktones, Béla Fleck & the Flecktones|
Ten From Little Worlds (Single Disc)
Genres: Country, Folk, Jazz, Pop, Rock
This 10-song distillation of Béla Fleck and the Flecktones' three-CD set Little Worlds gives a sense of the ambitiousness, audacity, and, at times, absurdity of the full package. The musicianship of Fleck and his compatrio... more »
This 10-song distillation of Béla Fleck and the Flecktones' three-CD set Little Worlds gives a sense of the ambitiousness, audacity, and, at times, absurdity of the full package. The musicianship of Fleck and his compatriots bassist Victor Wooten, saxophonist/flautist Jeff Coffin, and electro-percussionist Future Man is as accomplished as ever. Even when they are engaging in a slice of silliness like their version of "The Ballad of Jed Clampett," which they re-imagine as a sort of a rap rhapsody, the intelligence and sheer inventiveness of the performers keeps the music from descending to a trivial level. Guest artists here come from a wide range of traditions, including Branford Marsalis, Nickel Creek, the Chieftains, Fleck's former New Grass Revival band mate Sam Bush, and the Tuvan throat singer Congar Ol Ondar. One of the most intriguing visitors is Pamelia Kurstin, who plays Theremin on a couple of cuts. The music combines experimental sonic textures, complex harmonies, intricate rhythms, and charming melodies with impressive instrumental chops. Béla Fleck and the Flecktones are serious musicians, but their music, which is infused with joy, is never somber. --Michael Simmons
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Do I smell a marketing ploy?
Jan P. Dennis | Monument, CO USA | 10/22/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)
"The strategy of selecting tunes from a multi-disc release seldom if ever works. I remember Polygram doing the same thing with Randy Weston's great double-disc record, The Spirits of Our Ancestors--releasing African Sunrise, a single-disc spinoff--and it failing miserably. It's easy to see why record companies try this--they've already sunk lots of money into the multi-disc set, and it's going to cost them hardly anything to produce a disc that merely selects tunes from it. But consumers lose. Anybody who goes for the single-disc set is just missing out on some great music. If the companies released the one-disc product at cost, as a promotion to draw potential fans who might not be willing to shell out the $25 for the full disc, that might be different. But I can't shake the feeling that the record companies are ripping off consumers with these single-disc iterations of larger products.In the case of Bela and the Flecktones' Little Worlds, there's absolutely no reason not to get the full three-disc set. For less than twice the price you get three times the music. It's not as if discs two and three of the full set are throwaways. Rather, they contain some of the best music, e.g., "Costa Brava," "Mudslingers of the Milky Way," and "Sleeper."Do yourself a favor and get the entire three-disc set of Little Worlds. You'll be glad you did."
Over the edge
Jan P. Dennis | 11/01/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)
"i have been a bela fleck fan since 1980, & a flecktones fan since they formed in 1990. but with this effort, i will no longer be buying every disk they produce. the 'tones continue two trends, both of which long time fans of the band may find troublesome: the dominance of jeff coffin, and the trend to bring in guest artists by the dozen, obscuring the sound of the band members themselves. the former trend began with "left of cool". coffin's sax, which too often becomes kenny g - like, is at the front of the melody on virtually every track -- that is, unless a guest artist is in the lead. that trend reached annoying proportions on outbound, & is over the top here. i love the flecktones for the flecktones: bela's fretboard excursions, victor's wild bass lines, futch's drumitar. i will continue to see them in concert, whether alone or if they may have one or two guests - but this tendency to add multiple theremins (isn't that a cough suppresant?), dijerdos, etc etc etc is just too much. and the vocals: while i am glad futch has gone back to being just futch, & put his alter ego roy-el on the shelf (at least on this one-disk version of the longer little worlds compilation), divinity & bobby mcpherin meet the flecktones? give me a break. was the world crying out for that musical union? i think not. the ballad of jed clampett is, i know, supposed to be a fun piece - but it is simply not listenable. bil mon is similarly unlistenable. there are a couple of good tracks & two great ones. in particular, tracks 9 & 10, collaborations with the amazing nickel creek, are outstanding. and puffy, a long time concert staple, is good.
unlike another reviewer, i am GLAD they released this as a 1 disk alternative to the 3 disk package. this way, i limited my losses (and got the nickel creek tracks as at least some consolation). i realize musicians must evolve to survive, & clearly bela & the guys are not being stagnant. i respect that. but LET THE FLECKTONES BE THE FLECKTONES."
Don't buy this CD.
BGFN8 | Massapequa, NY USA | 10/16/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I know, interesting title for a five-star review. Why do I say this, you ask? Look at the title of the CD, "Ten From Little Worlds." The key words there are "Ten From." This disc is exactly what it says it is: a highlights compilation from an album called "Little Worlds," a three-CD set which is the most ambitious and arguably best album the Flecktones have yet released.
Not that the music found here is inferior. "Bil Mon," the opening track, is one of the finest recordings found in the Flecktones catalogue. The rap version of "The Ballad Of Jed Clampett" is a very interesting take on the old TV theme song, and it works suprisingly well. The two-part "Off The Top," featuring bluegrass trio Nickel Creek, is phenomenal. "Pineapple Heart" is one of the most beautiful tunes heard in recent memory.
This is a great CD. Like any great CD, it will leave you wanting more. But alas, unlike a lot of great CDs, there actually IS more out there, and it can be found on the full three-disc "Little Worlds." The music from there not found here is not inferior, all of it is great and worth your cash. Don't get me wrong, you will like this CD, but my advice is to ditch this and pick up the full three-disc album. Like I said, you will love this CD, and in the end, you will wish that you had picked up the full album, and if you do, there's about 16 bucks of yours that you spent on something which has now become obsolete. Do yourself a favor, if you are thinking about buying this CD, don't do it. Plunk down a little more cash and get the three-disc album. In the end you will be glad you did."