×

Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

Natural Bridge
     

Natural Bridge

by Béla Fleck
 
If the banjo king of bluegrass's early days is unquestionably Earl Scruggs, genre-smashing Bela Fleck has firmly held the crown for the past 20 years. Fleck came to the attention of bluegrass fans in 1982, when he took over the banjo chair with progressive pickers New Grass Revival. The young New Yorker

Overview

If the banjo king of bluegrass's early days is unquestionably Earl Scruggs, genre-smashing Bela Fleck has firmly held the crown for the past 20 years. Fleck came to the attention of bluegrass fans in 1982, when he took over the banjo chair with progressive pickers New Grass Revival. The young New Yorker sounded determined to channel Charlie Parker through his clanging five-string and build musical bridges spanning the jazz and bluegrass worlds. NATURAL BRIDGE was thus the perfect name for his 1982 solo effort, an instrumental disc that amply displays the fire and excitement of Fleck's groundbreaking vision. "Punchdrunk" and "Bitter Gap" are high-octane Scruggs-style breakdowns, while "Flexibility" sounds more like Django Reinhardt in a Paris cafe. Fleck's compositional palette is broad, and the rotating cast of top players keeps the surprises coming without ever overwhelming the songs with their chops. Mandolinist David Grisman sits in for "Dawg's Due," and Jerry Douglas's dobro, excellent throughout, has never sounded more poignant than on "Daybreak," a Coplandesque duet with Fleck. While Bela spent the '90s exploring the stratosphere with his hippo-hopping Flecktones, NATURAL BRIDGE, almost two decades after its release, continues to sound as sweet as fresh-cut grass. Karl Hagstrom Miller

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Rick Anderson
Before he single-handedly invented jazz-fusion five-string banjo, Bela Fleck was a young bluegrass player whose work with such bands as Spectrum and the New Grass Revival pushed the envelope of bluegrass tradition and contributed to the development of the New Acoustic movement spearheaded by mandolinist David Grisman, guitarist Tony Rice, and others. Fleck's playing was based on the melodic Keith/Trischka style along with the single-string technique of Don Reno, but his sound was all his own and as time went on his ideas became increasingly jazz-based. His second album finds him straddling the fence between bluegrass and jazz: "Punchdrunk" is a quirky romp built on an explicitly bluegrassy foundation, while "Flexibility" almost sounds like 1940s bebop. Other compositions fall somewhere in between, such as the beautiful and gentle duet between banjo and dobro, "Daybreak" and the highly chromatic but traditionally textured "Applebutter." Guests include all the usual suspects: Grisman, guitarist/fiddler Mark O'Connor, fiddlers Darol Anger and Sam Bush, bassist Mark Schatz, and dobro fiend Jerry Douglas, among others. Great stuff.

Product Details

Release Date:
02/08/2000
Label:
Rounder / Umgd
UPC:
0011661014626
catalogNumber:
610146
Rank:
153586

Related Subjects

Tracks

Album Credits

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews