Dave Gelly 

Bela Fleck and the Marcus Roberts Trio: Across the Imaginary Divide – review

Modern jazz banjo may be a weird concept but Béla Fleck's unbelievable bluegrass can take you over, writes Dave Gelly

The very idea of modern jazz banjo is so weird that we shall probably never get used to it, but that's what Béla Fleck plays. He and pianist Marcus Roberts make a good team, partly because they're both virtuosos and partly because Roberts has always enjoyed wandering a little off-piste. The title track is unbelievable – a kind of atonal bluegrass, if you can imagine such a thing – and there are some really catchy tunes, too. If you're in the right mood, this stuff can quite take you over. Bassist Rodney Jordan and drummer Jason Marsalis (brother of Wynton) hold it all together.


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