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The Melody Of Rhythm CD

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Audio CD (14 Jun. 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: E1
  • ASIN: B002F3BQB2
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 193,900 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
brilliant idea ! the mix of these three muso's - Fleck, Meyer and Hussein seems crazy, but they work well together and the orchestra blends in perfectly.
Great recording as well, I recommend a good sound system, you won't get the real deal from a computer .....
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.5 out of 5 stars 31 reviews
53 of 56 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Indescribably Delicious 27 Aug. 2009
By Constant Listener - Published on
Format: Audio CD
There's really no way to accurately describe this music. Is it World Music because the great Zakir Hussain is on it? Americana or Classical because of Edgar Meyer? Bluegrass or Jazz because Bela Fleck rounds out the group? You can put aside all of these categories because the music is all of it and more, and completely accessible. It's not a hodgepodge of styles. The compositions and sounds have real unity and the players enjoy legitimate chemistry.

It's absolutely not avant garde or free jazz, and I have no idea why Amazon has it in this category. Classical is more appropriate but doesn't tell the whole story.

The recorded sound is less austere than your average ECM production, but I think if you like the cross-cultural music from that great label, you'll be on board.

Obviously, fans of any or all three of the principals (as I am) are sure to love it.
32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No Mere Stylistic Mash-up 26 Sept. 2009
By Kyle G. - Published on
Verified Purchase
Last Sunday the Honolulu Orchestra presented their only new-music offering of the season: a live version of the work before you, Edgar Meyer's The Melody of Rhythm. This triple concerto for banjo, bass, and tabla was first recorded by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, and I absolutely can't recommend it highly enough. Performers Béla Fleck, Edgar Meyer, and Zakir Hussain are simply amazing musicians and collaborators. So much could go wrong combining these three distinct genres, leading to a confused and watered down presentation of each. But this is no mere stylistic mash-up. In the hands of these brilliant performers, Meyer's work forges a memorable and convincing amalgam that fully realizes the potential of collaborative music.

Here is a taste of the concerto only (3 of the 9 tracks):

Fleck's solo banjo, echoed by flutes and xylophone, unfolds a frenetic and monophonic opening theme. This unconventional doubling sets the stage nicely for the coming array of orchestral colors and doublings, and is proceeded by the first entrance of all three soloists. A warm, slowly undulating orchestral texture with high sustaining strings provides a nice interlude before the entrance of a cantabile and memorable folksy melody. As the movement progresses, material returns with added contrapuntal interest. A walking bass line supports a frenetic banjo line. The winds enjoy a rare spotlight through their counter-melodies. Three-part orchestral lines intertwine then mingle with a richer chordal texture.

Although all three soloists benefit from solos in this movement, the most attention is given to the tabla. Perhaps Meyer wanted to establish early on that the foreign tabla has a rightful place in this orchestral context. Hussain's rhythmic mastery and sensitivity to vocal inflection leaves no doubt about that. His first extended solo shows off the remarkable melodic range of the instrument as well as strokes so inhumanly rapid they approach definite pitches.

With just under one minute remaining, the folk melody returns high in the bass register with the other soloists accompanying. The movement is framed nicely by a succinct return of the quick banjo line coupled with flute and xylophone, effectively preparing the listener for the more subdued character of the slow movement.

The captivating second movement begins plaintively with ascending perfect 5ths in the brass that interlock to form some pleasing dissonances. This spare introduction builds then gives way to one of many soulful strains of a high bass solo. A flowing triple meter prevails.Remarkable color is achieved through a banjo melody doubled by low flutes, and the cellos chime in with quick duple figures. The banjo, bass, and tabla at last combine in a tight melodic and rhythmic unison before this first tension is released. After a hint of the introductory 5ths, Fleck's lovely solo work returns, including a hypnotic two-against-three solo figure that is simply arresting.

Finally, a true return to the opening brass lines is begun then quickly interrupted by the full orchestra. A brief solo trumpet line sustains over final, subdued orchestra chords, leaving a complex sense of repose in its wake that lingers nicely in concert. (The CD really needs more time between tracks.)

The final movement takes advantage of the widest range of influences. Beyond the previous Indian and U.S. folk strains, we also hear Debussian harmonic planing, jazz-like solo trade-offs, and "full stop" string and brass chords reminiscent of Stravinsky and Copland. Meyer has saved the strongest orchestral presence and solo passages for last.

A charming, melody-driven groove develops gradually, drawing on asymmetrical metric patterns. Using this visceral momentum, the soloists really take off. Meyer saws away at yet another soaring solo with unbelievable technical flourishes. The banjo and tabla pick up the action in rhythmic and pitch-relative unison, truly highlighting the melodic capabilities of this percussion instrument.

The movement's final section begins with a complexity approaching free jazz: all three burst out in a cacophony of independent, simultaneous soloing. They make their way back to a unison statement, then trade off phrases like a jazz trio, cementing their impressive abilities for unity of gesture and color. The tumult of the orchestra returns followed by a brief yet definitive ending statement.

Expect great things from this album and from the future output of these three phenomenal artists. If you haven't already, do yourself the favor of purchasing either the MP3 album or the hard copy CD, and give it a listen. For your trouble, you'll also get six additional tracks comprising 36 minutes of equally sophisticated and fun music by the same artists. It's well worth the time and money, if you ask me, and is among the best releases of the year in any genre.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delightful Disc 17 Oct. 2009
By Beth Cummings - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
"Melody of Rhythm" is a delightful CD from Bela Fleck. It not only features his signature banjo style, but the wonderful bass notes of Edgar Meyer and the unusual beat of the tabla (a drum from India that I was most familiar with on Ravi Shankar albums). This disc is enjoyable both as music to "listen to" to catch the unusual nuances and as background music for meals or conversation. I would highly recommend it for fans of either Bela Fleck or Edgar Meyer.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Transcending genre 23 Dec. 2009
By Copper Mountain Momma - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
When listening to previous collaborations between Edgar Meyer, Bela Fleck, and whomever else they chose to include in their musical play, I have admired their facility for mixing genres in a tasteful and artful manner.

This time they have gone beyond genre. They don't just build on the foundations of existing traditions, they bust through them entirely to create something new and spectacularly beautiful.

The inclusion of Zakir Hussein is just one of many strokes of genius. His delicate, complex rhythms, as the title suggests, do form a melodic line, or rather, several polyphonic lines.

What they have done goes beyond my ability to describe. It must be heard.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great collaboration involving Edgar Meyer 4 Oct. 2009
By J. Wilson - Published on
Verified Purchase
Just like Meyer's work in "Appalachia Waltz" and "Appalachian Journey" with Yo Yo Ma and Mark O'Connor, this album is simply amazing. It is much faster than they "Appalachia" albums. Fleck and Hussain have a fast pace. Meyer's bass holds the music together. Put this music on a good stereo and enjoy something refreshingly new.

This is a very difficult album to classify. It is a mix of jazz, classical and bluegrass with influences from India music. I call it World music in my playlist.
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