Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Bela Fleck and the Flecktones

  • Outbound [Columbia, 2000] C

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Outbound [Columbia, 2000]
I'd long since slotted the banjo whiz's genre hop as one more piece of harmlessly irrelevant bluegrass virtuosity, but a simple check of his Warners best-of reveals that he kept getting worse. Between the workaday saxophonist, the omnipresent bassist, the drummer named Future Man, the leader pursuing chord changes to new frontiers of musical forethought, and guests from such exotic climes as Tuva and Eire, how could we expect any less than bluegrass speed for speed's sake, world music meditation for meditation's sake, Phishy keybs, and fusion stop-and-go? All rolled into one? C