Though the Flecktones didn't change their formula with their third album, UFO Tofu, they did manage to craft one of their more consistent and impressive efforts. The band's fusion of jazz, bluegrass, and funk gels quite well on UFO Tofu – not only does Bela Fleck turn in a rich, eclectic performance, but pianist Howard Levy's deft lines and inventive phrasing dominate the album. Occasionally, the material is lightweight, functioning only as vehicle for the group's solos.
Aside from being legendary multiple Grammy-winning jazzmen on very different instruments, Chick Corea (piano) and Béla Fleck (the world's premier jazz banjo master) have a shared love for collaboration and the infinite improvisational possibilities their chosen idiom offers them. In some ways, the two have been preparing for this masterful, musical dialogue-driven masterpiece for over ten years. Fleck, who has always credited Corea as being one of his chief influences, invited the pianist to play on the Flecktones' Tales from the Acoustic Planet, as well as the group's live CD Live Art. Some years later, in 2001, Corea found a spot for Fleck on his Rendezvous in New York DVD. Later, they toured as a duo, making the unique recording of The Enchantment an inevitable artistic extension of their on-stage chemistry.
Banjo virtuoso Béla Fleck has certainly broken more boundaries than any other picker in recent memory, from his early days performing bluegrass-inspired folk compositions on Rounder in the late '70s to his quirky jazz freak-outs with the Flecktones throughout the '90s. In late 2001, this peculiar innovator released an album of banjo interpretations of classical works by Bach, Chopin, and Scarlatti. Before classical purists roll their eyes, they must remember that the banjo hasn't always been seen as the instrument of choice of backwoods musicians in the Appalachian mountains, but as recently as the 1940s was used as a primary rhythm instrument in all manner of parlor music.
2012 collaboration between banjo virtuoso Bela Fleck and Jazz pianist Marcus Roberts and his trio. Roberts' Trio is known for its virtuosic style: a style that is strongly rhythmic, melodic, and filled with dynamic contrast. Fleck is often considered the premier banjo player in the world. He has virtually reinvented the image and the sound of the banjo through a remarkable performing and recording career that has taken him all over the musical map and on a range of solo projects and collaborations.
The Melody of Rhythm, is an unparalleled collaboration between banjo virtuoso Bela Fleck, composer and double-bass master Edgar Meyer and Zakir Hussain, arguably the world’s greatest tabla player.