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Bela Fleck and the Flecktones: Life in Eleven

Bela Fleck and the Flecktones
Bela Fleck and the Flecktones
Bela Fleck and the Flecktones

Duke Ellington called them “beyond category,” those artists whose music transcends stylistic limitations and clears its own path. Were he still with us, Ellington wouldn’t hesitate to apply that phrase to Béla Fleck and the Flecktones. Since their inception in the late ’80s, the quartet has made mincemeat of genre, equally comfortable playing a jazz festival one week, a bluegrass bash the next, and then a jam-band or rock gathering. That they do so fronted by a banjoist is all the more impressive, but then Béla Anton Leoš Fleck-named after Hungarian composer Béla Bartók-is like no other banjoist who’s ever walked this Earth.

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