Béla Fleck & The Flecktones: Rocket Science

Béla Fleck & The Flecktones: Rocket Science
Banjo is an instrument that does not get a lot of press. It gets so little press that I can probably only name two banjo players: Steve Martin and Bela Fleck. I should add that I have never actually heard Steve Martin play banjo but I know he does. That means in my mind, Bela Fleck is the pre-eminent banjo player in America and I am probably right to think so. He has been nominated in more categories than any other musician in Grammy history and he has 12 Grammy wins to his credit. Bela Fleck releases his 13th album with the Flecktones, Rocket Sceience.
Like his previous efforts, Rocket Science is a neat instrumental mixture of jazz fusion, classical, and progressive bluegrass. “Sweet Pomegranates” has glimpses of Dave Brubeck‘s “Take Five” but with the addition of Fleck’s virtuosic banjo skills. “Like Water” has a distinctive newgrass feel with its long “jam band”-esque improv session.
In the end, Rocket Science is a hard sell to casual listeners. While Bela Fleck’s banjo skills are impressive, they are probably not captivating to a mainstream audience. Instead the release is probably more geared towards jam band fans and banjo fanatics.
Rating: 6.1/10
MP3: Béla Fleck & The Flecktones “Sweet Pomegranates”
Buy: iTunes or Amazon