Strange and compelling music that seems oddly familiar in its very weirdness, like a feeling you didn’t know you had for another person you'd never met before, or an appetite for an exotic cuisine one has never tasted.
The critically acclaimed bluesman talks to PopMatters about his musical path, bringing the banjo back to its roots in black music, and his new album Pentatonic Wars and Love Songs that marks his return to the guitar.
Béla Fleck didn't ask to be the Avatar of the New American Culture (avatars never do). He happened to be in the right place at the right time with a banjo and a digital recorder. The remaining dots are ours to connect, and we've begun to connect them.
The kora, with its lacelike and intricate patterns of notes, is the more attention-catching instrument, and you could easily forget that this album is a partnership and start to think of it as a Mansa Sissoko project.