Outbound

COMPOSERS: Bela Fleck
LABELS: Columbia
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

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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.

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The exhilarating performances cover a huge variety of moods and textures, occasionally recalling Weather Report and the Mahavishnu Orchestra.