COMPOSERS: Bela Fleck
ALBUM TITLE: Bela Fleck & the Flecktones
PERFORMER: Bela Fleck (bj, bj synth, g, el-sitar), Jeff Coffin (ts, as, ss, alto fl, cl), Future Man (d, perc, v), Victor Lemonte Wooten (el-b), Love Sponge String Quartet, etc
CATALOGUE NO: 498921-2
Bela Fleck reinvented the banjo as a poetic and highly expressive instrument with his superlative single-string playing, and now also plays its electronic versions. He is also an excellent composer/arranger, and something of a visionary bandleader.
Outbound is a big production album with guests augmenting the four-piece Flecktones band, but the dynamism of the small group shines through. The music combines jazz, rock and ethnic elements, with several vocalists and a Tuvan throat singer.
The exhilarating performances cover a huge variety of moods and textures, occasionally recalling Weather Report and the Mahavishnu Orchestra.