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Greatest Hits of the 20th Century
     

Greatest Hits of the 20th Century

5.0 1
by Béla Fleck & the Flecktones
 

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There are two not-so-secret weapons in Bela Fleck and the Flecktones. The first is the virtuosic banjo-playing leader, a daring whirlwind who has practically rewritten the rules for his instrument. The second is Victor Wooten, an equally gifted and inventive stylist whose flamboyant work is similarly turning the electric bass on its head. With these two in the

Overview

There are two not-so-secret weapons in Bela Fleck and the Flecktones. The first is the virtuosic banjo-playing leader, a daring whirlwind who has practically rewritten the rules for his instrument. The second is Victor Wooten, an equally gifted and inventive stylist whose flamboyant work is similarly turning the electric bass on its head. With these two in the forefront, the Flecktones -- who also include electric percussionist Futureman and saxophonist Jeff Coffin who replaced harmonica player Howard Levy -- are assured a melodic, harmonic, rhythmic, and improvisational center from which the band’s flights of fancy can evolve. And evolve they do. This greatest hits collection finds a band perfectly made for the inclusive musical nature of the late 20th century. Everything is grist for the mill when it comes to the Flecktone’s sound: country, funk, jazz, classical, R&B, rock, techno, blues, world music -- you name it. The kick of tracks such as "Stomping Grounds (here presented in a live version with guest mandolin soloist, David Grisman), "Road House Blues," "The Yee-Haw Factor," and "Big Country" show how different musical genres swarm together, nearly collide, and then conjoin. Fleck and Wooten regularly astonish -- but what’s most impressive is how they fit their pyrotechnics into the wider context of a song. And as GREATEST HITS displays, Fleck and his three ‘tones knew how to compose and put across a catchy tune -- hear the slyly insinuating "Flight of the Cosmic Hippo" and "Sex in a Pan." Surprising and involving sounds abound -- and you’ve got to love those titles.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stacia Proefrock
Whenever a group with the stature and critical reputation of Béla Fleck & the Flecktones issues a career-spanning collection, the quality of the work is not measured in the same way that an original album would be. The question isn't so much whether or not Béla Fleck & the Flecktones are talented musicians capable of producing worthwhile songs, but whether or not the editor of the collection has chosen wisely from their repertoire. On the satirically titled Greatest Hits of the 20th Century, someone has done a good job. In roughly chronological order (with the exception of the last song, "Sunset Road," from very early in the band's history), the collection presents a mixture of live and studio tracks and previously released and unreleased material, each song showing off a different facet of the band's style and abilities. There is the tight, funky quartet sounds of their first hit, "The Sinister Minister," the strong bluegrass influence on "The Yee-Haw Factor," the pleasant guest appearance by Dave Matthews on "Communication," and the sweetly minimal "Sunset Road." There isn't a dud in the bunch of this concise history of the Flecktones. An inventive blend of a world of influences, this collection offers an extremely pleasant listening experience.

Product Details

Release Date:
11/16/1999
Label:
Warner Bros Uk
UPC:
0093624730125
catalogNumber:
247301
Rank:
48525

Related Subjects

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Béla Fleck & the Flecktones   Primary Artist
Sam Bush   Fiddle,Mandolin
Dave Matthews   Vocals
Jeff Coffin   Alto Saxophone,Soprano Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone
Béla Fleck   Synthesizer,Banjo,Electric Banjo,Synthesizer Banjo
Howard Levy   Synthesizer,Harmonica,Piano
Paul McCandless   Soprano Saxophone
Roy Wooten   Bass
Victor Wooten   Bass Guitar
Future Man   Vocals,Synthesizer Guitar,Synthaxe,Drumitar,Lead

Technical Credits

Béla Fleck   Producer
Howard Levy   Producer
Roy Wooten   Producer
Victor Wooten   Composer
Béla Fleck & the Flecktones   Audio Production
Garrett Rittenberry   Artwork

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Greatest Hits of the 20th Century 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
glauver More than 1 year ago
Bela Fleck is a banjo virtuoso. Those words might turn many people off and that would be too bad. The Flecktones are NOT a bluegrass band. This 11 track compilation is a great sampler and an introduction to the alternate music universe the band members inhabit. Elements of jazz, funk,jam band and world music drift through the songs. Just check out the rumbling bass on Flight of the Cosmic Hippo, a title that makes you laugh even before you here the song. (There is a funny live version on Live Art, another good intro to this crew.) I recommend this budget item to everyone. You need at least one Bela Fleck disc in your collection and, if you like this one, the number of CDs by Bela with and without the Flecktones will grow. (I am up to nine.)