Описание CD

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  Исполнитель(и) :
   Fleck, Bela  (Banjo, Fiddle)
◄◄◄        ►►►

  Наименование CD :
   Crossing The Tracks



Год издания : 1979

Компания звукозаписи : Rounder Select

Музыкальный стиль : Bluegrass, Progressive Bluegrass, Folk Jazz

Время звучания : 37:58

Код CD : Rounder 11661-0121-2

  Комментарий (рецензия) :

CD, стоящие на полке рядом : Jazz (Fusion)      

Recorded at The Mixing Lab, Newton, Massachusetts and at Pete's Place, Nashville, Tennesee.

Crossing the Tracks was Bela Fleck's first solo album, released on LP by Rounder Records in 1979 (for some reason Rounder never got around to releasing it on CD until 2005), and it featured an inspired and forward-thinking string band consisting of Bob Applebaum on mandolin, Russ Barenberg on acoustic guitar, Sam Bush on fiddle, Mark Schatz on acoustic bass, and Fleck, then a 20-year-old banjo player with brilliant chops and a bebop heart. Fleck gets the bluegrass monkey off his back with the opening track, a solid version of Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs' "Dear Old Dixie," and then is free to roam through a gentle and sparkling set of traditional tunes ("Growling Old Man and Grumbling Old Woman"), boogie rags (Fats Waller's "How Can You Face Me Now"), airy and elegant originals ("Inman Square" and the wonderful, endlessly shifting "Twilight"), and genre-jumping jazz covers (Chick Corea's "Spain"), all done with a bright, joyful elan, before ending things with a beautiful old-timey version of the traditional "Ain't Gonna Work Tomorrow," which features vocals from Fleck's old Tasty Licks bandmate Pat Enright. In time this sort of thing would come to be known as "jazzgrass" or "newgrass," but there really wasn't a name for it in 1979, which certainly didn't stop Fleck from going there. Crossing the Tracks is full of subtle innovation, and if it doesn't seem as immediately startling as his later fusion flights, listen again.

All Music Guide

====

So entrenched is banjoist Bela Fleck's reputation as one of bluegrass's most innovative and boundary-demolishing musicians that it's hard to be surprised now by the sounds on his 1979 debut CROSSING THE TRACKS. But taken in historical context, Fleck's first solo album sounded like nothing else on the bluegrass scene, or any other scene for that matter. With healthy doses of jazz, boogie, ballads, and pop all mixed in with old-timey bluegrass, Fleck and his superb acoustic ensemble set about deconstructing the very notion of bluegrass music, a process Fleck would continue for the rest of his career. That journey begins here, and the crisp sound on the 2005 CD reissue makes it all the more enjoyable to revisit.

So entrenched is banjoist Bela Fleck's reputation as one of bluegrass's most innovative and boundary-demolishing musicians that it's hard to be surprised now by the sounds on his 1979 debut CROSSING THE TRACKS. But taken in historical context, Fleck's first solo album sounded like nothing else on the bluegrass scene-or elsewhere, for that matter. With healthy doses of jazz, boogie, ballads, and pop all mixed in with old-timey bluegrass, Fleck and his superb acoustic ensemble set about deconstructing the very notion of bluegrass, a process Fleck would continue for the rest of his career. That journey begins here, and the crisp sound on the 2005 CD issue makes it all the more enjoyable to revisit.

Personnel: Bela Fleck (banjo); Pat Enright (vocals); Russ Barenberg (guitar); Jerry Douglas (dobro); Bob Applebaum (mandolin); Sam Bush, Randy Sabien (fiddle); Mark Schatz (upright bass).

========= from the cover ==========

The first time I met Bela he was close to l6 years old and a pretty hot picker for someone that age (or any age for that matter). He came to me for lessons and I showed him everything I could. It wasn't enough. He had a sprawling creativity that quickly took him off the deep end of the banjo. So he swam those waters for a while, stretching limits and discovering just how far he could go. Then suddenly, while playing with Tasty Licks in general and Pat Enright in particular, he rediscovered Earl Scruggs and went back into basic training. He abandoned most of the eccentric outposts of his style, kept some of the unexpected melodic and rhythmic twists and added the prototypical circa 1959 right hand. Voila! - a heavy player.

Of course, this wasn't enough. While thoroughly digesting "Foggy Mountain Banjo" Bela was simultaneously learning how to improvise on jazz standards. He waded through fake books, took lessons from a local sax player and in the process trained his left hand to operate out of new positions.

As a result of all this woodshedding Bela is now able to cover a much wider harmonic-melodic range (listen to his own "Inman Square," the perfect clone of some hitherto undiscovered Charlie Parker tune). His phrasing has also opened up, putting gaping holes in the sacrosanct three finger role. Actually, he isn't using three fingers at all. Instead he spins out lines with the thumb and index like some bebop Reno of the future.

In short, Bela has an awesome creative span which covers every aspect of bluegrass-related banjo music, past, present and future.

Listen within this jacket.

There are very few players whose cosmology could contain such a determinedly Scruggsy "Dear Old Dixie" alongside a totally legitimate reading of Chick Corea's "Spain." Bela's own compositions are equally impressive and varied. "Spring Thaw" is so perfectly rooted it could easily be an outtake from the first Kenny Baker record, while "Crossing the Tracks" is a brilliantly soaring tune that may well become a jazzgrass standard of the '80s.

In the face of such diversity, what holds the whole thing together? I think a lot of the credit goes to Bela's consistently strong right hand work. He picks with an experienced authority that belies his age (20 as of this recording). In addition I can point to the unflagging versatility of his backup band:

Sam Bush is my candidate for the neo-bluegrass musician's musician. His taste and timing are impeccable whether he's playing a haunting old-time unison with Bela ("Growling Old Man") or swinging out on a Fats Waller tune ("How Can You Face Me Now").

Standing a world apart from the White-Rice school of guitar playing is Russ Barenberg, once again making every shimmering note count with a depth and intelligence rarely heard in nouveau acoustic music.

As a sometimes partner of Pat Cloud's in California, Bob Applebaum has the chance to stretch out quite a bit. But he's no stranger to bluegrass either. Here he gets to flex all of his musical muscles, combining a warmth of tone with invention of line to draw you intimately into every solo.

Mark Schatz is the perfect bassist for the bluegrass new wave. He's totally comfortable with the more outside tunes, but he can nail "Cabin Home on the Hill" as if he were the next incarnation of Cedric Rainwater.

I doubt that Chick Corea ever envisioned a Dobro part in "Spain," but if he had he could have picked Jerry Douglas. As always, Jerry's playing is forcefully and excitingly articulate.

And of course there's Pat Enright with the hundred megaton voice. His powerful lungs are first brought to bear on a John Lomax Library of Congress style "Ain't Gonna Work Tomorrow." He then turns around to croon "How Can You Face Me Now." And you believe all of it.

So there's nothing more to say. This album says an awful lot. Thanks Bela.

- Tony Trischka (1979)

This was my first experience making a solo album. I had come to Boston straight out of high school to play in a band called Tasty Licks. I stayed with them for 3 years.

After bugging Rounder for a while about making a solo album, I decided to take matters into my own hands and recorded a demo of some tunes. They asked me if they were going to get to hear it. And when they did, I got a call from them saying they'd like for me to record for them. My solo recording career began. In retrospect I am glad they made me wait, I believe that this was a better debut because of it. At the time, I was dying to record.

I was encouraged to pick my favorite musicians to play with. I started with Russ Barenburg, who had played guitar on "Tony Trischka and Country Cooking albums." He was my guitar hero at the time for his melodic qualities and beautiful tone.

I was also very impressed with Bob Appelbaum, a mandolinist in Boston with wide range. He knew bluegrass and jazz and was very open minded.

Mark Schatz and I were becoming best friends and I loved his bass playing. He was in Tasty Licks and was a lot of help to me. He was really into playing and took the time to let me try my ideas out.

I studied all my bluegrass albums to figure out who would be my "wish list" fiddle man. I kept coming back to Sam Bush, but I didn't know if I'd be able to get him. His playing was so raw and powerful, and I loved it. Luckily he came to Boston to play Jonathan Swift's with New Grass Revival and we were able to get him to stick around for a couple extra days to record.

I also got Pat Enright to sing on a couple of things. Pat was in Tasty Licks at the time. He is a powerhouse bluegrass singer, and I remember wondering what he'd sound like singing this Fats Waller tune. By the time I was finishing up the album, Tasty Licks was over, and he had moved back to Nashville. I made a trip down to get Pat and Jerry Douglas on the record.

Jerry was already a huge phenomenon on the Dobro in 1979. The first thing he did for me was overdub on the track of "Spain" that we had recorded in Boston. What he did blew me away. He also played on "Dear Old Dixie." This was the beginning of a special friendship that resulted in me moving to Nashville to join the New Grass Revival a few years later.

With the exception of Pat and Jerry's parts (recorded at Pete Drake's studio in Nashville), the recording was done at John Nagy's mastering lab in Newton, Massachusetts. He was doing a lot of stuff for Rounder in his place at the time. The room was tiny, but it worked! Somehow we all crammed in there and he got some good sounds on us. This was my first time being the boss, something that is not that easy to do right. Folks were very supportive, and really let me make the decisions, although everyone had much more experience than I. When I listen back now, I can hear the excitement of the moment. There are things I wish I could have done better, and things I am pleased and surprised at. The guys all played great and amazingly the album was voted 2nd best album of the year by Frets Magazine's readers.

I was off to a good start!

- Bela Fleck (July 3, 2005)


  Соисполнители :

Bob Applebaum (Mandolin)
Jerry Douglas (Dobro)
Mark Schatz (Bass)
Pat Enright (Vocals)
Randy Sabien (Fiddle)
Russ Barenberg (Guitar)
Sam Bush (Fiddle)


№ п/п

Наименование трека

Текст

Длительность

Комментарий
   1 Dear Old Dixie         0:02:39 Flatt, Scruggs
   2 Inman Square         0:04:00 Fleck
   3 Texas Barbeque         0:03:59 -"-
   4 Growling Old Man And The Grumbling Old Woman         0:01:42 Fleck, Traditional
   5 Spain         0:07:12 Corea, Rodrigo
   6 Crossing The Tracks         0:03:38 Fleck
   7 Spring Thaw         0:02:27 -"-
   8 How Can You Face Me Now         0:04:54 Razaf, Waller
   9 Twilight     T       0:02:02  
   10 Frosty Morning         0:02:58  
   11 Ain't Gonna Work Tomorrow         0:02:26  

      Обозначения:

 T   'щелкнуть' - переход к тексту композиции.

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