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Little Worlds Box set

4.3 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Box set, 29 Sep 2003
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Amazon's Bela Fleck Store


Product details

  • Audio CD (29 Sept. 2003)
  • Number of Discs: 3
  • Format: Box set
  • Label: Sony Music Jazz
  • ASIN: B0000AQVCN
  • Other Editions: Audio CD
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 208,020 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
  • If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Bil Mon
  2. Ballad Of Jed Clampett
  3. Puffy Albu
  4. New Math
  5. Longitude
  6. Latitude
  7. Centrifuge
  8. Off The Top The Gravity Wheel
  9. Off The Top Line Dance

Disc: 2

  1. The Fjords Of Oslo
  2. Sherpa
  3. What It Is
  4. The Leaning Tower
  5. Mudslingers Of The Milky Way
  6. Captive Delusions
  7. Costa Brava
  8. Poindexter
  9. Prequel
  10. Return Of The Mudslingers

Disc: 3

  1. The Cave
  2. Next
  3. Pineapple Heart
  4. Snatchin'
  5. Reminiscence
  6. Sleeper
  7. Flunky
  8. The Last Jam

Product description

BBC Review

It was telling that Sony saw fit to precede this release with a sampler entitled Ten From Little Worlds. For this album is a daunting prospect for even the most hardened of Flecktone groupies. Three CDs spanning a whole world of jazz-inflected madness abound herein and, while not indigestible in small chunks, this could prove hard to stomach over its entirety.

Like a distant cousin to Scandinavian jazz oddballs Farmers Market (with polymath accordionist Stian Carstensen at the helm) it's Fleck himself whose magpie tendencies can both dazzle and infuriate. He's hardly established a mood when he's off again, wrapping numbers up in astounding dexterity that's undeniably impressive, yet doesn't make for a complete listening experience. Maybe at the heart of this there's an insecurity about his chosen instrument; as if to say: 'look, I'm a master of the banjo but it's not just for bluegrass, you know. It can be respectable too...'

In the extensive sleeve notes telling the tale of the albums genesis, Fleck says that the band set out to make a stripped-back collection recorded at their makeshift home studio in Nashville. No such luck unfortunately, as a whole world of star guests came along for the ride. As to be expected said guests -including bluegrass wunderkinds Nickel Creek, the Chieftains' Paddy Maloney, theremin genius Pamelia Kurstin, Bobby McFerrin and Branford Marsalis - all belong to a sphere labelled 'maestro' and, as such, add a panoply of textures and moods to the work. However, yet again it all serves to confuse rather than delight.

Examples are numerous but for arguments sake take disc 2. "Sherpa" (featuring Marsalis) is all skewed, quirky reggae, "What Is It" - featuring Bobby McFerrin - is the usual happy-go-lucky, quirky stuff we expect from Bobby, and Poindexter (with Dobro genius Jerry Douglas) is just, well, quirky. The last example is telling. Jerry Douglas has forged a path out of straight bluegrass towards more diverse territory, especially on his recent album Lookout For Love. But that was one, more focussed disc of jazz-inflected wonders. Fleck's proved his boundary-busting credentials beyond a shadow of a doubt. Now he just needs to learn that, in this case, less would definitely have been more. --Chris Jones

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
I have watched as some critics have savaged this while others have given it no more than a tepid response and I think I may know why. Some people like music that satisfies them from the very first listen, like movie-goers who need lots of explosions and gunfights to keep them happy. This album is a grower and takes repeated listens before the magic begins to shine through.
Also, it is an album of many many parts so if you are looking for something that is light and compact and sticks to a basic theme throughout then again you might be disappointed. This is an album that will take you on a journey through Jazz, into Bluegrass territory, on to Country plains, through World, a touch of New Age, heaps of Celtic music and Folk and the odd dollop of Rap, Hip Hop and even Classical music on the way. This is a beautiful album, lovingly worked and executed.
It is not a borefest as some would have you believe but you do need to sit down somewhere and allow it to wash over you and only then will you sense the themes running through it and not see it as a pretentious and disjointed mess. I see things in colours and so I can see where the band have wanted to go and the steps taken are quite logical but this is music for all the senses, not just one or two.
I love this album. It's a masterpiece.
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Format: Audio CD
Bela Fleck is the world's greatest banjo player, and the Flecktones are a pretty remarkable bunch of musicians. We're used to the band producing some pretty odd stuff from time to time, and Little Worlds is definitely odd. That's not to say it's bad - it isn't, but some of the tunes seem to be less about music and more about experimentation - experiments that should have been kept in the laboratory at Flecktones World Headquarters. There is some great picking in places, lots of innovation and some talented guest players to add their special touches to the mix, but the album isn't as good as Outbound, and it certainly doesn't have the brilliance and entertainment of the Live At The Quick DVD and CD. The liner notes say that this album was going to have been the band with no guests, but lots of people turned up and were found things to do... it shows. There are touches of brilliance, but this album could have been so much better. Disappointing, but Bela Fleck is still the world's greatest banjo player!
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Format: Audio CD
Banjo's used to be the 'B' word with me, never thought I'd enjoy them. Bela plays his banjo as if an elecric guitar which works wonderfully.
The instrumental tracks ( by far the majority )are played by simply the best musicians, Glorious to listen to. I could take or leave the gimmickiness of the vocal tracks. But very good indeed, loved it.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
verry verry good
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)

Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars 38 reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Treasure 29 Mar. 2016
By D. Morriss - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The music in these CDs is a treasure. Those who indict it as scattered don't honor the common thread of a deep, passionate and skilled love of music running through every piece, every note, every composition. In a culture that seems to prize homogeneity above creativity, that criticism is valid.
The title, "Little Worlds" is as descriptive as a title can be. We catch glimpses of musical realities. Scents wafting across foreign plains, a language of emotions familiar but not yet felt.

Needless to say I love this music, am a huge fan of Bela Fleck in all his musical incarnations and hope he plays on and on and on.
5.0 out of 5 stars the more I've learnt to like it myself 3 Feb. 2015
By Åsa Sundström - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I bought this album to my son as a christmas gift. He likes this kind of music very much and the more I have heard of it, the more I've learnt to like it myself.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One more in a continuous stream of great works 15 Jan. 2005
By Michael Kozakiewicz - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Is anyone besides me amazed at how Bela Fleck & the Flectones can produce one fine work after another year after year? I keep expecting an album that will be a rehash of previous work, and it doesn't happen!

"Little Worlds", at 3 CDs in the set, could have been too long, but is isn't. The various guests add their spices to the pot, and the result is a tasty, eclectic brew. What a joy to listen to!
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 3 Mar. 2015
By Eric Windle - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
It was perfect. And I received it very quickly
1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How does such a good band keep getting better? 2 Oct. 2003
By M. Kobb - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I won't bore you with a long review, because prior reviewers have already made excellent points.
Let me, therefore, just add a voice to the chorus. This is a wonderful album. Virtuosic and varied, it is sometimes mellow and sometimes over the top, but always has that special Flecktone "something".
I'm eagerly awaiting the band's upcoming tour through my area, ticket in hand.
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