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The banjo reviews database is here to help educate people before they purchase an instrument. Of course, this is not meant to be a substitute for playing the instrument yourself!

6975 reviews in the archive.

Bela Fleck  Across the Imaginary Divide Recording/Album Reviews

Submitted by privard (see all reviews from this person) on 10/19/2012

Where Purchased: At Bela Fleck's performance with the Marcus Roberts Trio at the Dakota Jazz Club in Minneapolis.

Overall Comments

So my buddy and colleague, David Skarjune, called me spur of the moment a few hours before the Bela Fleck and the Marcus Roberts Trio show on Thursday, Oct 18th, 2012 at the Dakota Jazz Club in Minneapolis. We took a chance and were able to score tickets. I've seen Bela seven or eight times previously, but not in this new collaboration, and such was the astonishing virtuosity of all four participants, and the brilliant fusing of piano and banjo, that I bought the album which is driving the tour: Across the Imaginary Divide. This is most definitely NOT a bluegrass album, but if you , like me, love the banjo as a fully realized musical instrument capable of being set in most any genre, then you will love this collection of original pieces of jazz, bebop, and bluegrass-tinged New Orleans jazz. Marcus Roberts is a protege of the great trumpet player and musicologist Wynton Marsalis, and Wynton's brother Jason is the drummer (and he is clean, dynamic, incredibly fast and with huge dynamic range) in the trio. Roberts is a brilliant pianist with an encyclopedic understanding of American music and an exquisite ear for improvisational possibility. Piano and banjo together can be problematic because of their similar sonic range, but Fleck and Roberts' blending of the two is a pure pleasure to experience, either live or on record. Pick this one up. It'll remind you of what's possible when virtuosos collide.

Overall Rating: 10

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