Béla Fleck & The Flecktones
Rebecca O'Bern | Connecticut, USA | 08/17/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
""Outbound" contains almost eclectic tracks, with "A Moment So Close" and "Zona Mona" appearing back to back. For more catchy vocals, including all the instrumentals expected, try "A Moment So Close" or "Something She Said." For that awesome banjo without a hint of bluegrass, as well as so many other instruments, try "Zona Mona," and "Shuba Yatra." I feel like a lot of this music is on the edge of being boring, yet somehow it's not. Sometimes it sounds like a fun jam session, and other times it sounds like the film score to a Kathleen Turner film. Either way, I'm a fan and you should be too. Pick up a copy and you'll see why."
Bela Fleck & the Flecktones
Chris Covais | 06/18/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"My introduction to the Flecktones. A perfect introduction; well, almost.
Somehow, over the years, jazz has managed to fuse with every kind of music imaginable. First, jazz was born incorporating with blues and ragtime. Over the years, popular music was tied in with jazz, then later on, Dave Brubeck managed to incorporate classical influences with jazz, and this so called "chamber jazz" was born.
Then as jazz was growing more and more, becoming even more complex, out of the blue rock was somehow fused with jazz, and then we had fusion. Afro Cuban influences created latin jazz, and later on even hip-hop, R&B, and pop was mixed with jazz.
But something Bela Fleck created all himself was the birth of Bluegrass coming together with jazz. And the thing I found out is that I actually like bluegrass, in an instrumental setting of course.
When I first heard this, I was like, man I don't like bluegrass music, and all this R&B sappy singing. But as a listened to the whole album non-stop in the car taking a drive through the beach, I really listened to Bela and the rest of the musicians. What conversations! This is true musicianship.
One reviewer said there is just too many musicians with different backgrounds. Sure, it doesn't work sometimes, but here? Bluegrass, jazz, very progressive stuff! It works. Granted some of the tracks aren't my cup of tea, probaly the two numbers with lead vocal parts, but I'm sure I will come to like them. I'm wondering if he/she did not take the time to fully listen to the music. This band has opened up my life, and it is very spiritual to me, not in the sense of religion; well maybe, but a religion totaly musical. Better than anything else, this music is just fantastic.
Hoedown is the perfect introduction to this wonderful disk. It just sets the mood so much. Such ironic music to be brought into a jazz setting, but it works. The banjo is just magnificent, when not bombarded with just awful stale lyrics about how some guy's women left him.
Zona Mona, so great, my first Flektones track I ever heard which made me get this release. Future Man, I wish he played real drums. I am a drummer and when I go to the shows I like to watch other drummers for enjoyment. But as for the recordings, the synth-axe drumitar is actually quite warm, and if I ever learn how that contraption works, I would sure love to learn how to play that thing!
Bela Fleck & the Flecktones, such a unique group. When I'm looking for jazz to listen to.....as for modern music, I don't wanna hear cats just swinging in 4/4. I need the music to be different, and unlike anything I have ever heard, and Pat Metheny and Bela Fleck's Flecktones seem to deliver that special brand of jazz to me, the best of them all. I will sure be looking foward to all the upcoming Flecktones releases, and will be with this band for many more years to come!"