I loaned my copy of "Melody..." to someone and don't have it back yet, so I have a couple of gaps in the set list that might have been fixed. I also got a hint or two from a nice review at


He says a tune called "Nu" was played but I have not been able to Google that and suspect it has to do with what I have marked as "New Tune". d2t10 is particularly familiar but I can't get from where. As usual, any help is welcome.

Bela Fleck, Edgar Meyer, Zakir Hussain 2010-05-25
Palace of Fine Arts Sf CA
part of SFJazz

0 //SF Jazz intro, tuning
1 Bubbles
2 talk
3 Babar
4 talk
5 Canon
6 talk
7 E Minor
8 tuning
10 tuning
11 Zakir solo > Out Of the Blue
12 outro

0 Waiting for people to get seated, talk
1 Then Again
2 tuning
3 Prelude from Bach's Suite No. 2 for Solo Cello (Edgar solo)
4 Happy Drum Drum Monkey Girl
5 talk
6 "New Tune" >
7 In Conclusion (?)
8 talk, hand Zakir a large silver hammer
9 (Bela solo) >
11 talk
13 applause before encore, talk
14 Green Slime
15 outro

SP-CMC-8 (cardioid) > m-Audio Microtrack II @ 24/44.1 > Sound Studio > xACT (fix SBE and flac conversion)

Compressed 15 above -24 dB with 23 dB postgain


Review: Beguiling music by B�la Fleck, Zakir Hussain and Edgar Meyer

By Richard Scheinin

Posted: 05/27/2010 10:13:04 PM PDT
Updated: 05/28/2010 12:57:45 PM PDT

Click photo to enlarge
Bela Fleck, Zakir Hussain & Edgar Meyer at The Palace of Fine Arts ( Scott Chernis )

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SAN FRANCISCO � When B�la Fleck, Zakir Hussain and Edgar Meyer walked onstage the other night at the Palace of Fine Arts Theatre, they wore their worlds-in-collision musical ethos on their bodies.

There was banjoist Fleck, all casual, a pre-Land's End kind of guy, and tabla player Hussain in his flowing Indian garb, and acoustic bassist Meyer in button-down shirt and tie, but rumpled, like remnants of his background in classical music and academia.

The look of this super-trio soon flowed into its beguiling performance: those multiple worlds as the Big Universal Playground.

"Babar," a tune by Hussain, began with Meyer bowing a floating ballad melody � think of Bach's equipoise or an old English air, but with graceful swoops and embellishments implying India. The melody strained toward feathery high notes � a weightless elephant, dancing en pointe � before Fleck entered with a plucky back-porch theme and began to improvise triplety sequences, which merged with the gentle fingertip barrage of Hussain's hand-drums, sounding like rain on the roof.

Tuesday's concert was only the second stop on a 34-stop international tour. (The trio will be at the Mountain Winery in Saratoga on June 13 and at Carmel's Sunset Center on June 23.)

But already the music was digesting its many influences � one could hear bluegrass, jazz, raga and much else � and doing it with the sensuous, relaxed virtuosity that is often found in classical Indian music. In fact, one could hear the banjo, with its nasal sonority, as a faux sitar, and Meyer, who settled into a calm pizzicato stroll through the center of the music � every note fat and resonant, setting up a kind of drone � as carrying out the grounding function of the tamboura.

It was a mostly quiet and largely egoless music, with lots of space and not too many notes. Nobody was trying to impress, though so much of what was happening was impressive. The very clarity and in-tune-ness of Meyer's arco passagework stood out; bowed improvising rarely happens at this level of comfort. And then Hussain: His micro-control of the drums' tuning allowed him to match rhythms with rapid scales and melodies, at times with Meyer's very bass lines.

"Out of the Blue" � attributed to all three members of the group on its recent "The Melody of Rhythm" CD � began with a long solo improvisation by the drummer, for whom this sold-out concert presented by SFJazz was a hometown affair. (He has lived in Marin for decades.)

So many sounds from this man's drums: slides, snaps (almost like timbales), then deep underwater va-rooms from the low drums. That persistent raindrop pattering, the whir of a propeller, the beating of wings: One could hear it all, coaxed by fingertips, palms and the heels of Hussain's hands. And always, the subdivision of the beat, so many crisscrossing subdivisions, all maintained without even a sign of fatigue.

This went on for several minutes before "Out of the Blue" moved toward the blues: Fleck's gleaming and distant banjo chords, echoing Miles Davis' "So What," and a boogaloo-ish bass line from Meyer, reminiscent of Dizzy Gillespie's "I'll Never Go Back to Georgia."

After intermission, Meyer played � gorgeously, on bowed double bass � the Prelude from Bach's Suite No. 2 for Solo Cello. It was just one more surprise plotted by the group, surely the first in history to mix Bach, banjo and tabla. And "Oh! Susanna," a recurring theme in a stand-alone improvisation by Fleck.

On "Nu," also by Fleck, I was struck by the catchiness and elemental quality of the music: An old Blues Project LP leapt to mind. So did Ornette Coleman's harmolodicism, because the music seemed so pliant, as much about mood and intuition as anything else.

The encore hinted at something Brazilian: What next? With the confluence of so many influences, one might expect this trio's music to be crowded, overloaded, tipping over with ambition. Instead, it was spare and open, patiently finding its way.

Contact Richard Scheinin at 408-920-5069.

B�la Fleck, Zakir Hussain
and Edgar Meyer

When: 7:30 p.m. June 13 (a double bill with the Chick Corea Freedom Band)
Where: Mountain Winery, 14831 Pierce Road, Saratoga
Tickets: $49.50-$99.50; www.moutainwinery.com
Also: 8 p.m. June 23, Sunset Center, San Carlos Street at Ninth Avenue, Carmel. Tickets: $47-$65; www.sunsetcenter.tix.com or 831-620-2048

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