Groundbreaking banjoist/composer/bandleader Bela Fleck has reconvened the original members of his band The Flecktones for a brand new disc -- "Rocket Science" -- marking the first recording by the initial line-up of the group in almost two decades. Pianist and harmonica player Howard Levy is back in the fold alongside Fleck, bassist Victor Wooten and percussionist Futureman. All manner of genres come into play, from jazz and classical to bluegrass and African music to electric blues and Eastern European folk dances, for a sound that Fleck has coined "blu-bop."
Following his Grammy-nominated 2009 debut, virtuoso guitarist Julian Lage returns with "Gladwell" -- the second effort by his offbeat, eclectic group. "We began playing with the idea of creating a story we could use as a guiding light in our writing process," Lage explains. "The result was the development of an imaginary and forgotten town known as Gladwell. As a metaphor, Gladwell presented us with a clear architecture, to compose songs that evoke feelings of people and places we hold dear." The disc reflects the Lage's wide-ranging musical interests, ranging from chamber music, American folk and bluegrass to Latin, world, and modern jazz.