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Reviewers: Don Mather, Dick Stafford, Marc Bridle, John Eyles, Ian Lace, Colin Clarke



Live at the Quick

BELA FLECK & THE FLECKTONES

Columbia 507614 2


Amazon UK 
    1. That Old Thing (Intro)
    2. Earth Jam
    3. Zona Mona
    4. Ovombo Summit
    5. Hall of Mirrors
    6. Scratch & Sniff
    7. Amazing Grace
    8. Big Country
    9. Interlude
    10. Lover’s Leap
    11. Alash Khem
    12. A Moment So Close
    13. Prelude from Bach violin partita
    14. Hoedown

The Flecktones

Bela Fleck – Banjo, Electric Synth. Banjo, Guitar
Jeff Coffin – tenor, Alto Sop, Clarinet, Flute
Future Man – Synth-ax Drumitar, Acoustic Drums, Percussion,Vocals
Victor Lamonte Wooten – Electric Bases, Floor Synth.

Guests

Sandip Burman – Tabla
Andy Narell – Steel Pans & Keyboard
Paul Hansen – Bassoon
Paul McCandless – Oboe, English Horn, Sop & Sopranino.
Congar ol’Ondar – Tuvan Throat Singing

If you had not heard of Bela Fleck a glance at the above and you would say, "What kind of a Mickey Mouse outfit is this?" Prepare to be surprised, the Flecktones are a musical treat and Bela plays the banjo like nobody else. The music has jazz roots but it contains elements of Blue Grass, Blues, Fusion and it is presented in a very entertaining style by a band of brilliant if unconventional musicians. Just take a listen to the swing generated by Future Man’s synth based percussion work!

On this particular CD Bela features a number of guests who all fit in so well with his band, that you would think they played together all the time and this larger version of the band is even more exciting than the usual Flecktone’s performance.

The intro has regular sax man Jeff Coffin, with Paul Hansen on Tenor and Paul McCandless on Sop. Earth Jam features the Flecktones and then some of guests are introduced, Paul Hansen, this time on Bassoon, Paul McCandless and Andy Narrell for Zona Mona and Scratch and Sniff. Both are pure musical mayhem, but a very attractive form of mayhem! Words cannot adequately describe Bela Fleck’s music; you just have to hear it.

Amazing Grace is a feature for Bass player Victor Lemonte Wooten and surprisingly it turns out to be a good vehicle for his improvisations.

Big Country includes a Blue Grass Sound, but the happily the jazz feel has not gone away. For Lover’s Leap Coffin changes to Clarinet and McCandless to English Horn.

Bela Fleck’s composition has a similar haunting sound to that of Petite Fleur from Sidney Bechet.

Congar onOldar is a Tuvan throat singer and Bela is always on the hunt for a new sound, as always with Bela’s choices, it works!

Bela’s Bach inspired solo piece is pure banjo virtuosity, if there were more banjo players of his ability, there wouldn’t be any banjo jokes!

The reaction of the audience tells all; this is a record of what was obviously a great performance. If you have never heard Bela buy it, if you have heard him you will want to buy it anyway!

 

Don Mather

 

 
 
 
 



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