The set starts out with every member of the band coming out on stage one at a time. Some of the Instruments I recognized and was familiar with, such as the saxophone, clarinet, bass, and drums. They Introduced a variety of Instruments that looked either homemade or sounded strange to me, Like the electric banjo, drumbeat, and synthesizers. There was a bit of scat vocals done by Victor Wooden as well. One thing I noticed in this song was the repetition. I think the bass line was constant throughout the entire four minute long song.
The set looked very non-western to me, especially the rugs that were laid down in the middle of the stage. Almost the entire song had a mixed meter and it reminded me of Dave Matthews. My first impression of the song was a pleasant one. I really liked the sound because it was catchy and upbeat but still relaxing at the same time. I was under the impression that the banjo was supposed to represent a guitar that would normally be the lead Instrument In a Western band. Bell Fleck had a really cool way-way effect on his banjo that really added to the texture of the song.
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One thing I didn’t ally care for was the cheesy, almost expected, designation of a solo time. Each one took there solos at a specific point in the song. I think I would categorize this song In the retro jazzy funk genre. Lover’s Leap This song had basically the same instrumentation as Earth Jam with the introduction of a few new instruments. Those instruments were the steel drums and the English horn. I felt like this song was heavily influenced by Jamaican reggae because of the way the steel drums sounded with the other instruments.
I noticed some call and response in this song with the steel drums and banjo and also with the English horn and the banjo. One western thing I heard in this song was the harmony, which kind of goes hand in hand with the heterocyclic texture throughout the song. This song was dramatic. It painted a picture In my head of a Jamaican going through various hard times In his life almost Like a monologue you would see In a movie. Again I noticed that the banjo was the center of attention. I would categorize this song in the classical reggae genre.
Zoon Mona The new instruments introduced in this song are the fretters bass and a soprano saxophone. I remember the banjo in this song sounding very similar too bluegrass Eng I would hear in a country western song. Then all these African polymaths chime in and make for an interesting combination. The entire band seemed to improvise the entire song and sound good together, without the use of sheet music. The heterocyclic texture and the polymaths made this song sound African. It reminded me of an exotic animal running through a Jungle chasing after something.
I would put this song Into an African bluegrass genre. Bomb Summit In this song, Future man plays a homemade recording device that has African chants on each button. He then begins looping them over each other while playing a ere cool polymath underneath it to add to the effect. Other instruments include this was one my favorite songs by Bell Fleck. I really enjoyed the use of polymaths in this song and the upbeat African chants from the children looping through the entire song. I would classify this song in the Africanize category (African-Jazz).
Hall of Mirrors In this song, Bell Fleck introduces the table played by Sanding Barman. The song also has soprano sax and bassoon along with the usual instruments. There was a definite Indian sound with a hint of Asian thrown into the mix as well. The banjo mounded very similar to a sitar and had many call and response parts with the table. I also noticed a mixed meter that was not uncommon in relativity to the rest of their songs. I really felt like I was in an Indian environment the music reminded me of the Hindustan genre of music in India.
During the chorus, it did sound a bit Japanese or at least had a hint of Asian culture ingrained somewhere in the instrumentation. Maybe they were using the Japanese scales or something. The chorus could be used as a theme song on a Japanese game show or something. I really liked this song as well. I would classify this song as Handiness music (Hindustan-Japanese). Scratch and Sniff This song has one of my favorite aspects of funk music in it, the slap bass. It sounded really cool with the way-way effect on the sax and the slap bass line behind it.
The steel drums, table, and bassoon were involved in this song as well. James Brown could have definitely used this as a vamp in one of his songs. It has all the aspects of a ass’s funk sound as well, like the dandy tempo, the slow R melody, and cool drum beats. The beats in this song were definitely polytechnic and I really enjoyed Future Man’s drumbeat solo in this song. He makes the sound off really fast double bass pedal, probably at about 32 or maybe even 64 beats per measure. I would classify this as a funky R&B style of music.
Amazing Grace This was a very interesting version of the popular folk song Amazing Grace. The song only consists of Victor Wooden and his bass. It starts off not sounding like it but later uses harmonics for the recognizable melody of the song. He is doing the most unbelievable things and making the most incredible sounds during this song. It is hard to pinpoint exactly what he is doing, but it looks like he is sweep thumb picking he strings while maintaining a different melody at the same time. It definitely sounded like there was a heterocyclic texture in the song but with only one instrument.
It was very interesting to watch, mostly because if I were to Just listen to the audio I would think that there were at least two really good bassists playing in this song. I also noticed that he tuned his bass during the song, which really impressed me. I would classify this song as Jazzy folk music. Lash Chem. “What is that! ” was exactly what was going my head during this song. The instrumentation consisted of an Asian man, in a very traditional Asian garb, which reformed Tuba throat singing. He apparently was hitting three different pitches during the song but it almost sounded like an instrument with a heavy drone.
He kept making the same kind of noise throughout the song, which served as the non- Western repetition in the song. I honestly have no idea what kind of music this is because I have never heard anything like it. If I had to categorize, I would have to say traditional Asian chant music or something along those lines. A Moment So Close everything that had been introduced on their set, such as: the Tuba throat singer, enjoy, cut off/broken guitar, sax, bass, table, drumbeat, drums, oboe, bassoon, gong, English horn, vocals from Future Man, and more.
This was by far my favorite song during their set. This song consisted of homemade instruments, drone, and a call and response section between the bass and the table. In my opinion, this one sounded the most contemporary, maybe because of the vast cultural influences it contains. I heard a mixture of Spanish, Asian, funk, Indian, and Jazz. Future Man’s vocals were very impressive, mainly because he is such a weird guy that I Just didn’t expect him to have such a talented singing voice.
It may seem kind of farfetched but I would classify this song as a Spain Fanzine genre of music. Bell Fleck and the Flagstones (Section 2) Bell Fleck was born in New York City, New York on July 10, 1958. He was named after a Hungarian composer Bell Bartok and received his first banjo at age fifteen from his grandfather. He first started taking interest in the banjo when he heard the theme song to the Beverly hillbilly’s. He studied the French Horn at the New York High School of Music and Art and later went on to tour with a band in Boston called he Tasty Licks.