Music's always been an integral part of my life. I was raised in a church where music was the ultimate expression, studied music seriously and almost pursued a career in it until my Crohn's dictated otherwise. For me there's a song for every moment, emotion, and thought. The soundtrack of my life is as varied as it gets, encompassing everything from classical to rap to opera to electronic to instrumental to world.
That being the case, I love many artists but I have a Top 5 and right at the top is a group that mainstream society still hasn't quite caught on too, and why is anyone's guess, but consider tonight's sampling an intro to a group that could change the way you look at music.
Bela Fleck and the Flecktones might sound like a group that caters to kids, but I assure you it's anything but. Bela himself has literally revolutionized the way people think of the banjo and if you have heard of him, it's probably through his well-known jam sessions with the Dave Matthews Band. Joining him are brothers Victor Wooten and his brother Futureman. Victor is highly regarded as one of the world's best bassists, and Futureman is right up there as a percussionist, but he doesn't sit in front of his drum set, he wears around his shoulder, just like a guitar or a banjo. No joke. This guy has literally designed a one-of-a-kind instrument that allows him to do all the percussion standing up jamming with the rest of the group. Though 95% of the group's music is vocal-free, Futureman has contributed vocals for several tracks throughout the years. Jeff Coffin is recognized as a top performer and composer of the sax (all types) and most other woodwinds, including the flute and clarinet, among others.
While playing as a group, each also pursues solo careers and together they've revolutionized the way many, including myself look and think about the boundaries of music.
Below is perhaps one of their best known songs, A Moment So Close and I love this performance so much I own the video of this concert taped in 2005. Featured are Tuvan throat singer Kongar-ol Odnar, hailing from Mongolia where he's been trained to be able to hit three notes at once, something that just boggles the mind. The Flecktones are also joined with a kettle drum, bassoon, oboe, and that's Jeff Coffin on a soprano saxophone (that looks like a clarinet) and Sandip Burman, a tabla player from India. If it sounds like a strange group, it is, but once you listen and watch you'll be just amazed as I was.
The second selection tonight is from the same album, same group of performers, and this one is titled Hoedown, featuring some of Sandip Burman's amazing skills.
And we round out the selection with another from the album - Earth Jam. If you want to seem some truly amazing skills and some serious jamming, you won't want to miss this.
Here's hoping your weekend is as sweet as the melodies above!