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Published: 2012/08/22
by Grace Beehler

Bela Fleck & The Marcus Roberts Trio
Across the Imaginary Divide

Rounder

Béla Fleck first joined forces with the Marcus Roberts Trio (Marcus Roberts on piano, Jason Marsalis on drums and Rodney Jordan on bass) during the Savannah Music Festival several years back: The successful and spontaneous collaboration resulted in the recording of Across the Imaginary Divide shortly thereafter. Though the banjo isn’t known for jazz, the twelve new, original tracks embrace the jazz roots of the trio and the bluegrass roots of Fleck’s virtuosic banjo skills into a seamless, genre-bending album. Fleck’s fast picking is harmoniously woven with Roberts’ bright and smooth piano playing on such cuts as “Petunia,” as each takes turns sharing the stage during the five-minute track. While the catchy melodies (“The Sunshine and the Moonlight”) are reminiscent of the Flecktones, this album showcases the more traditional—yet not less talented—side of Fleck.

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