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Old 09-28-2002, 06:04 PM   #1
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Any Flecktones fans?

Am I the only one here who listens to them?

In case you're wondering the Flecktones are a super-cool jazz/funk/folk/bluegrass/fusion jam band made up of some of the best musicians I've ever heard - all virtuosos on their instruments. Their music is really interesting because it blends all kinds of different influences and instruments you wouldn't normally put together, but in a way that makes it seem natural. How often do you hear banjo solos in jazz? Or how often do you bring in steel pans or tablas or bassoons? It's also really interesting from a theoritical point of view, because they use extremely complex time signatures (they've borrowed some from Indian music, so they end up with weird time signatures like 7/16 or weird combinations, and it's rare that they don't change time signatures in their songs). Not that they don't have a lot of songs in regular time signatures, but it's really cool that they can play comfortably (and even more impressive, improvise) in weird time signatures and make it sound cool at the same time.

Anyway, hopefully someone else here has heard them and likes them, but the reason I'm writing is cause I'm going to see them play tonight, and I'm really psyched for it. A chance to see the best musicians on their instruments playing and improvising together is something I don't get too often!

Soooo...anyone out there?
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Old 09-29-2002, 01:23 PM   #2
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how was the show?

They sound pretty cool.

Have any mp3's of theirs to share?
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Old 09-29-2002, 03:42 PM   #3
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WOW

The show was incredible! I was about 10 feet from the stage, and it was amazing to watch their fingers flying. They're impressive to listen to on CD, but live they just totally blew me away. You can tell they were totally having a blast up there, too, playing around with each other, soloing off each other, and just breaking out into smiles in the middle of a song. One of the most fun concerts I've ever seen, and THE best in terms of musicianship.

Vic Wooten is just jaw-dropping phenomenal. He had about a 10 minute bass solo where he started out playing a cool groove, and then created a loop out of that, and kept adding more groove loops on top of that, so that finally he was playing solo to the backup of what sounded like 10 basses playing. Then he did this wild thing where he just went crazy on the bass, actually detuned it so it sounded like a percussion instrument, and through the course of a couple minutes was actually able to retune it while playing so that it was back to where it was originally (I guess you had to be there to fully appreciate it). It was the most amazing thing I've ever seen anyone do on the bass or any kind of guitar.

I'm not anything like Kazaa or anything, but if you want to check out their stuff, a few good songs to look for are Stomping Grounds, Far East Medley, Throwdown at the Hoedown, Shanti, Sinister Minister (live version is great), Hoe Down (reworking of Copland's Rodeo), Shuba Yatra, Flight of the Cosmic Hippo (they like weird names ), Yee-Haw Factor...all kinds of good fun stuff.
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Old 09-29-2002, 08:53 PM   #4
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Awesome!

Oh, I don't have kazzaa, either, lol. But I manage.
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Old 09-29-2002, 10:21 PM   #5
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Diemen,

Yes, great musicianship. Was Bela not there?
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Old 09-30-2002, 04:06 AM   #6
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Bela was definitely there, and just as impressive as Vic. I was hoping he would would play a classical piece for his solo bit, and he did treat us with a Bach Partita that was just amazing to watch and hear. Of course he gave us a nice 10-minute intro that included lots of improv, and some well known tunes like Linus and Lucy and All You Need Is Love (which became a nice sing-a-long) among others - all of this just on banjo.

Bela and Vic had a couple really cool and funny duelling solos and had a nice joking rivalry throughout the concert, as well. As Vic was introducing Bela's solo, he mentioned how many grammy nominations and awards Bela has gotten, "which is really amazing considering the banjo isn't even a real instrument." That got some laughs and a dirty look from Bela, but after Vic left stage, Bela said "Do you know why they make banjo jokes so simple? So the bass players can understand." Some mock-angry words shouted from backstage and Bela looking pseudo-nervously over his shoulder for a bit. Definitely a light-hearted bunch of guys with a great sense of humor and almost no ego at all given their enormous talent. Anyway, it was definitely one of the most entertaining concerts I've seen.

For anyone interested, check out www.flecktones.com and click on records to get some sound clips, as well as tour dates and extra info.
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