When world-renowned banjoist Béla Fleck realized that his instrument had lost its musical heritage, he decided to make a pilgrimage to Africa to rediscover the banjo's folk music roots. The results of this trip were released by way of his 2009 critically acclaimed Throw Down Your Heart album and film. The Ripple Effect is a set of previously unreleased recordings from this same musical adventure, and comprises Fleck's collaborative sessions with virtuoso kora player, Toumani Diabaté.
A virtuoso on his instrument, Fleck has over the last four decades taken the banjo far afield from its traditional roles in bluegrass and old-timey music, embracing an extraordinarily broad range of musical styles. Not only has he won 15 GRAMMY®s, but he did so across nine different categories, earning honors in the Country, Pop, Jazz, Instrumental, Classical, and World Music fields through his work with the fusion group Béla Fleck and the Flecktones; double bassist and composer Edgar Meyer; his wife, Abigail Washburn, and others.
The original "Dueling Banjos," recorded by Eric Weissberg and popularized by the film Deliverance, was one of the things that first attracted Fleck to the banjo, so there's a sense of coming full circle with that performance... "I knew that my beloved instrument had originally come from West Africa," he writes. "And from time to time I found tantalizing tidbits of African acoustic music that gave me the confidence to know that there was a phenomenal amount of incredible stuff going on under the radar."
What brought that general interest into focus was when Flecktone saxophonist Jeff Coffin played Fleck a recording by the great Malian singer Oumou Sangare. "I was literally stunned," Fleck recalled. "I'd had this reaction only a few times -- when music was so compelling that everything had to stop while I listened. Earl Scruggs' banjo did it to me. Chick Corea's music did it to me. And so did this."
"traditional African music turns out to suit him beautifully"
- 180g Vinyl LP
- Double LP
- Previously unreleased
- Lacquers cut by Bernie Grundman
- Gatefold jacket
- Made in the EU
- Snug Harbor
- Elyne Road
- Throw Down Your Heart
- Kauonding Sissoko
- Dueling Banjos