This morning I mentioned Bela Fleck’s Live at the Quick DVD to some of the college students that play in our worship orchestra. Specifically, we were talking about the funk bassoon and jazz English horn… yeah, it’s a REALLY eclectic group!

It then occurred to me that I’ve never taken the time to mention on my blog that this is my very favorite DVD ever created. I could seriously watch it just about every day (and at times in the past, I’ve definitely done that). Has there ever been such a gathering of people who are among the very best at what they do? Here’s a sampling of the skills on stage with the Flecktones on that album:

  • Béla Fleck, the world’s greatest banjo player
  • Jeff Coffin, who can groove in absolutely any meter
  • Victor Wooten, one of the best bassists ever
  • Future Man (aka Roy Wooten, Vic’s brother), world’s best (and possibly only) synth-axe drumitar player
  • Sandip Burman, maestro of the tabla
  • Kongar-ool Ondar, world’s happiest Tuvan throat singer
  • Paul Hanson, jazz/funk bassoon extraordinaire
  • Paul McCandless, woodwind specialist
  • Andy Narell, steelpan virtuoso

I highly recommend you purchase this DVD. It will blow your mind! Yes, they do some “wierd” stuff, but it never comes across as being done purely for the novelty of doing something original. Everything they play just sounds AWESOME!

Here are a couple samples from the concert. First up is “Scratch & Sniff”, with the aforementioned funk bassoon solo. Notice that the bassoon and tenor sax are both run through an effects pedal, allow them to play with varying amounts of distortion, delay, and polyphonics. Bonus points for anyone who can figure out the time signature during the solo section in the middle of the piece:

Next up is “Lover’s Leap”, featuring steelpans and jazz English horn. Seems appropriate for Valentine’s Day weekend:

Last for today is one of the concert’s soloists: Vic Wooten playing his famous arrangement of “Amazing Grace”. Even the parts that sound easy are incredibly difficult (in case you aren’t familiar with playing harmonics).

This list doesn’t even include my two favorite selections from the DVD, but I’ll stop here… now go buy it!

2 comments on “Flecktastic

  1. Bryn says:

    I’m glad you exposed me to that, John. Bela Fleck is definitely my “go-to” group when I’m thinking, “Let’s expose the students to something today that they’ve never heard anything like and probably never will again…” =)
    I should probably buy that DVD while I’m back in the States.

  2. Jeff says:

    Been digging this group since Howard Levy played harmonica with them back in the day, and I was fortunate enough to play a few big band jobs with Jeff Coffin when he first moved to Nashville. All of these guys are absolutely incredible, playing music without boundaries or labels, it seems, to me.

    Great seeing you last night, I think I’ve been bitten by the (live) hockey bug. I know my 13-year-old has! My brother-in-law’s friend that was with us has season tix to UT football and Vandy basketball, and he said he thinks live, playoff hockey is the most exciting sport he’s ever experienced as a fan.

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