Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, that amazing quartet who gave us their 1990 self-titled album as well as their UFO TOFO CD, now gives us another masterpiece. The group consists of the Wooten Brothers on bass guitar and drum synthesiser, banjo virtuoso Bela Fleck and Howard Levy on piano and harmonica.
The presence of Fleck's banjo makes it difficult to disassociate their music from Bluegrass, but the music they play is much more complex. Jazz-Fusion is a catch-all phrase that is used as a blanket to cover almost anything modern in the Jazz world. this album would probably fall into that category. The music is other-worldly without being so out there as to be rendered unlistenable.
Again, Howard Levy's magical approach to the humble diatonic harmonica is nothing short of miraculous. To non-harmonica playing listeners, it might seem that you are simply listening to a great harmonica player. But to those of us who know the instrument, Howard is playing notes that aren't even built into the instrument. using a technique known as "overblowing", Levy is able to coax out notes that don't even appear in a lot of western musics. Just on a technical level, this album is monumental.
I strongly urge anyone to buy this CD for their collection.