He has some amazing band members. What are their most interesting CDs?
I'm not so fond of the Futureman trio stuff, but his "Crossing the Tracks" album is superb.
Also his solo banjo cut on the "Sail Away: The Songs of Randy Newman" anthology is worth the price of the whole CD. It was recorded live to two-track in a hotel room and has an immediacy that studio recordings lack.
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I agree with you regarding the Flecktones. They are 4 amazing musicians, especially Bela and Victor Wooten the bass player, but do they play tunes ? If you are after a melody that you can hum along with then this is not your band.
In my view (and it is a minority view to be sure) Bela is best when playing Bluegrass type banjo. Of course based on this "prejudice" towards bluegrass I prefer Tony Trishka to Bela. Now there is a phenom for you.
My favorite banjo player is Noam Pikelny.
He plays with Chris Thile.
Punch Brothers "Punch" is one of my top ten albums of the decade.
Thanks for the tips. On the Tony Trishka front, any particular album to start with?
"Double Banjo Bluegrass Spectacular" is good place to start. It's a recent album and should be readily available. It's all duets with Bela, Earl Scruggs, Noam Pikalny, Allison Brown and others. Very nice recording.
If you have a turntable and can find it "Banjoland" is pretty damned good.
I don't think it ever came out on CD.
Thanks, I just ordered it (DBBS).
Hope you like the Double Banjo Bluegrass Spectacular. Let us know what you you think when you have listened a few times.
In the meantime I just heard the Bela Fleck Christmas record ("Jingle all the way") and it's very interesting. The playing is just awesome even if a couple of the arrangements are a little out there. Hey, What do you expect out of Bela ?
As David Johnson (Yonder Mountain String Band) has been known to say "Do you like a banjo ? ".