||Punchdrunk||Béla Fleck||2:39||$0.99||View in iTunes|
||Flexibility||Béla Fleck||4:11||$0.99||View in iTunes|
||Dawg's Due||Béla Fleck||2:59||$0.99||View in iTunes|
||Daybreak||Béla Fleck||3:00||$0.99||View in iTunes|
||Bitter Gap||Béla Fleck||2:59||$0.99||View in iTunes|
||October Winds||Béla Fleck||5:48||$0.99||View in iTunes|
||Crossfire||Béla Fleck||3:26||$0.99||View in iTunes|
||Applebutter||Béla Fleck||2:42||$0.99||View in iTunes|
||Old Hickory Waltz||Béla Fleck||4:53||$0.99||View in iTunes|
||Rocky Road||Béla Fleck||3:24||$0.99||View in iTunes|
||The Natural Bridge Suite||Béla Fleck||6:55||$0.99||View in iTunes|
Before he single-handedly invented jazz-fusion five-string banjo, Bela Fleck was a young bluegrass player whose work with such bands as Spectrum and the New Grass Revival pushed the envelope of bluegrass tradition and contributed to the development of the New Acoustic movement spearheaded by mandolinist David Grisman, guitarist Tony Rice, and others. Fleck's playing was based on the melodic Keith/Trischka style along with the single-string technique of Don Reno, but his sound was all his own and as time went on his ideas became increasingly jazz-based. His second album finds him straddling the fence between bluegrass and jazz: "Punchdrunk" is a quirky romp built on an explicitly bluegrassy foundation, while "Flexibility" almost sounds like 1940s bebop. Other compositions fall somewhere in between, such as the beautiful and gentle duet between banjo and dobro, "Daybreak" and the highly chromatic but traditionally textured "Applebutter." Guests include all the usual suspects: Grisman, guitarist/fiddler Mark O'Connor, fiddlers Darol Anger and Sam Bush, bassist Mark Schatz, and dobro fiend Jerry Douglas, among others. Great stuff.
This is some of Bela's earlier work, before he began working with the Flecktones. It is more classic folk/bluegrass banjo accompanied by mandolin and violin. In my opinion, I like this more than I like some of his later work with the Flecktones. This album has some very bright, fast-paced songs which are very catchy and likeable, and there are also some slower, deeper songs that are also pleasing to listen to. I recommend this to anyone who like lively folk/bluegrass.
An accidental find for me. I didn't know Bela had earlier albums. I only knew the Fecktones and later solo stuff . This is bluegrass, jazz and funk: heavy on the country. Refreshing!
Born: July 10, 1958 in New York, NY
Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s