Little Worlds

Little Worlds

5.0 1
by Béla Fleck
     
 
The little worlds that Béla Fleck and the Flecktones are visiting on this ambitious recording are the diverse musical environments that inform their own widely eclectic art. The banjo phenomenon and his daring band wrap their far-reaching imaginations around all manner of sounds here: bluegrass, ska, jazz, Celtic, blues, rock, rap, and classical all somehow find their

Overview

The little worlds that Béla Fleck and the Flecktones are visiting on this ambitious recording are the diverse musical environments that inform their own widely eclectic art. The banjo phenomenon and his daring band wrap their far-reaching imaginations around all manner of sounds here: bluegrass, ska, jazz, Celtic, blues, rock, rap, and classical all somehow find their place, nestling productively against each other. Guests include vocalist Bobby McFerrin ("The Ballad of Jed Clampett," "What It Is," "Sleeper"); mandolinist Sam Bush ("The Ballad of Jed Clampett," "Pineapple Heart,"); guitarist Derek Trucks ("Centrifuge," "Pineapple Heart," "The Last Jam"); Nickel Creek ("Line Dance"); the Chieftains ("The Leaning Tower"); Dobro player Jerry Douglas ("Poindexter," "The Last Jam"); and guitarist Bernie Williams ("The Last Jam").The single-disc version, Ten from Little Worlds, brings fans the highlights at a special price.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Zac Johnson
Super-jazz freakout bluegrass picker Béla Fleck's broad three-CD concept album has ambitious intentions, but ultimately ends up feeling a bit scattered. The idea seems to have been to record an album that sounds like sitting in a car and flipping through radio stations -- hearing snippets of hip-hop, Chinese opera, Irish folk, Hawaiian ukulele, mid-'80s funk, and, of course, bluegrass and jazz, then expanding that experience out to three entire discs. If any group on the planet could pull this off, it could only be Fleck and his Flecktones, but the concept (being as convoluted as it is) makes for a rather uneven listen. The bright and jazzy "Puffy" neatly bridges the gap between contemporary jazz and new acoustic music, and tabla, Irish harp, and even theremin meld nicely on the genre-spanning "Sleeper." On the flip side, the bizarro hip-hop version of Flatt & Scruggs' "Ballad of Jed Clampett" never needed to be recorded, and many of the songs seem cluttered and over-tweaked, almost as if during production the band reasoned that the addition of more instruments and more synthesized sounds could only enhance the music. The addition of nearly everyone they knew -- including Bobby McFerrin, several of the Chieftains, Nickel Creek, and even the lady from the Chinese restaurant down the street -- only adds to the confusion. It seems as though Fleck will never run out of ideas, and taken one at a time, the majority of the songs have obvious merit, but as each of the songs drift from centuries-old Indian percussion into one of Future Man's synth-axe drumitar jams, it sounds a little too disjointed and almost "quirky for quirky's sake." "Say, what if we mixed digeridoo with an electric synth banjo?" "Well, OK...but only as long as I can have a gong solo!" Sorry fellas, but just because the instruments exist doesn't mean they all need to show up in the same song. Still, every note is impeccably played and pristinely recorded, and those Flecktones fans who like to pull apart their extremely technical pieces of music, analyze them, and put them back together will find hours of rabid discussion on Little Worlds. [Sony also released a stripped-down, ten-song version of the project called Ten From Little Worlds.]

Product Details

Release Date:
08/12/2003
Label:
Sony
UPC:
0696998635326
catalogNumber:
86353

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Béla Fleck   Primary Artist,Synthesizer,Banjo,Piano,Vocals,Electric Banjo,Synthesizer Banjo
Jerry Douglas   Dobro,Lap Steel Guitar
Derek Bell   Irish Harp
Matt Molloy   Flute
Sam Bush   Mandolin
Bobby McFerrin   Vocals
Seán Keane   Fiddle
Jeff Coffin   Clarinet,Bass Clarinet,Alto Flute,Keyboards,Alto Saxophone,Soprano Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone,Human Whistle,Didjeridu,Whistle (Instrument),finger cymbals
Kevin Conneff   Vocals,Bodhran
Paddy Moloney   uillean pipes
Branford Marsalis   Soprano Saxophone
Derek Trucks   Electric Guitar
Joe Wooten   Theremin
Victor Wooten   Bass,Piano,Electric Bass,Cello,Keyboards,Fretless Bass Guitar,Upright Bass,6-string bass,Soloist
Future Man   Cymbals,Drums,Gong,Vocals,Cajon,Synthaxe
Matt Malloy   Flute
Chris Thile   Mandolin
Paul Brantley   Cello
Sandip Burman   Tabla
Sara Watkins   Fiddle
Sean Watkins   Guitar
Pamelia Kurstin   Theremin
Bernie Williams   Guitar
Jake Shimabukuro   Ukulele
Ganesh Kumar   Kanjira
Ganesh Chandram   Kanjira
Subasch Chandram   Vocals,Jaw Harp,Gatam

Technical Credits

Bill Monroe   Composer
Bobby McFerrin   Composer
Jeff Coffin   Composer
Béla Fleck   Composer,Producer,Liner Notes
Louie Fleck   Engineer
Talley Sherwood   Engineer
Roy Wooten   Composer
Victor Wooten   Composer
Future Man   Composer
Giulio Turturro   Art Direction
Christopher Austopchuk   Art Direction
Richard Battaglia   Engineer
Paul Henning   Composer
Robert Battaglia   Engineer

Customer Reviews

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Little Worlds 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I've only had the pleasure of seeing the Flecktones on stage once in my life, and hopefully it wont be the last. This is such an incredible band with extroadinary musicians. I got into them shortly after finding out that my favorite bassist, none other than Vic himself, was their bassist. Wooten's solo albums amazed me, and inspired me to play bass, while listening to the Flecktones inspired even more to keep playing the rest of my life. I bought Little Worlds a few days ago, and was shocked to find that it was 3 cd's...I knew I'd have a LOT to look foward too. Each CD is amazing, each and every song truly being in its own world with its own rules, as Béla says in the booklet. This Album is no doubt a MUST HAVE for any Flecktones fan, or any true fan of Jazz. You will not be dissapointed.