Remembrance, The Final Duo Project of Béla Fleck & Chick Corea, Out Now!!

 

Remembrance serves as a moving final document of the profound creative and personal rapport between pioneering virtuoso banjoist, Béla Fleck, and the late legendary jazz pianist and composer, Chick Corea.

 

The bond between these two musical giants was first showcased at album’s length on the 2007 Latin Grammy-winning album, The Enchantment, jumpstarting an over decade-long creative and personal relationship of the unlikely duo. Extensive touring and an extraordinary 2015 live album, Two, only further solidified the duos innate ability to cross a myriad of genres, from jazz, bluegrass, rock, flamenco and gospel.The origins of their collaboration began far before their joint debut album, however.

 

 

New York native, Béla Fleck, began his musical career listening to and studying the likes of Earl Scruggs, Eric Weissberg, and Pete Seger. It was only after hearing Corea’s “Spain” (from Return To Forever‘s 1972 album, Light As A Feather) that “…I realized that the banjo would work in jazz,”. A young and eager Fleck would later approach his hero and give him some of his own music to listen to.

On hearing the bluegrass meets be-bop of Béla Fleck and The Flecktones, Manhattan’s own Chick Corea said …”I heard a completely fresh sound…Béla was taking the instrument and the tradition of the banjo and bringing it up as a seriously virtuosic instrument,”.

 

Béla went on to invite Corea to perform on 1994’s Acoustic Planet as well as the 1996 live album, Live Art. In turn, Corea invited the banjoist to perform with him and Bobby McFerrin on his 2001 Rendezvous of New York, performed live and later released in 2003.

Performing as a duo apparently came quite naturally, with the two initially writing and sharing what they had over the phone, until finally meeting in Nashville to record The Enchantment. What came from those sessions was magical, like two old friends having a conversation, spurring each other on, and excitedly talking at once.

Cut to now, and Remembrance, recorded both in concert, during the duo’s final tour dates in 2019, and via traded sound files in the midst of the Covid pandemic, gives us the heartstring-tugging finale of the duo’s work.

Acting as a crucial addendum to Corea’s legacy, there are three of his previously unreleased compositions, as well as five short free improvisations that Fleck has infused with written music, clairvoyant interpretations of Thelonious Monk and Scarlatti, and challenging exercises in avant-jazz.

On the album and their friendship, Fleck reflects, “We pushed this duo to a new place before we ran out of time…I’m just so glad to be a part of this – glad I could be with him, and glad there’s more to share,”.

 

Be sure to come in and snag yourself a copy of the Béla Fleck Productions’ Remembrance, both on 2x LP and CD!

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