This is a total favourite for me. Fleck fans will only need to know if it is up to usual standard and 5 stars plus live says that already. For the rest of you.....
Flecktones music is uncategorisable. A banjo player playing funk / jazz / fusion / ?? has to be heard. (If you think "I don't like banjo" put that aside - it's simply not like that) Some people say Victor Wootten is the greatest living bass player. Maybe right, maybe wrong, but certainly not unreasonable. You have to see Roy Wootten on the home-invented "synthaxedrumitar" to grasp what it is like when someone has a portable drum kit and synth slung over their shoulders and played at finger-tapping speed.
There are many others on this album, including a tabla player, a steel pan player, electric bassoon, a Tuvan throat singer, the Flecktones regular and excellent Sax player Jeff Coffin and an oboist. How do you blend all that? Easily it seems.
The music is complex, but not difficult to hear. Usually characterised by very strong rhythmic pulse (even if in strange time-signatures) and quick-fire interaction. But it's not just jazzy head-stuff. It is melodic warm, emotional and above all fun. If you like to see a bunch of musicians who REALLY enjoy what they do, then you should find this rings your bell.
For me, Bela Fleck is one of the greatest ever musicians, and I would claim very high standards. A virtuoso player who has redefined the possibilities of his instrument. A gifted and inventive composer. The ability to play in several genres and cross or synthesise or break ground in them all. I mean that he is up there with the best classical artists and the finest jazzers or rockers. At the level of Miles Davis, Jimi Hendrix, Maxim Vengerov, Oscar Peterson, Rostropovich..... He is also very good at attracting other top-class musicians and leading them in an ego-free way. You can see and hear the results on this DVD.