Banjo virtuoso Béla Fleck has certainly broken more boundaries than any other picker in recent memory, from his early days performing bluegrass-inspired folk compositions on Rounder in the late '70s to his quirky jazz freak-outs with the Flecktones throughout the '90s. In late 2001, this peculiar innovator released an album of banjo interpretations of classical works by Bach, Chopin, and Scarlatti. Before classical purists roll their eyes, they must remember that the banjo hasn't always been seen as the instrument of choice of backwoods musicians in the Appalachian mountains, but as recently as the 1940s was used as a primary rhythm instrument in all manner of parlor music.
Even as the music industry has leaned more toward pigeonholing artists to fit them into simple categories, listeners are blessed to have a few visionaries who realize that the spirit of truly great music can't always be so tidy and contained. Weckl's fifth Stretch Records release lives up to the promise of its kinetic title, reflecting his ensemble's powerful rhythmic energy and ongoing commitment to melodic invention and improvisational spontaneity.
What's Perpetual Motion Freestyle? Think of it as ''swimming for grownups''. The traditional way of swimming freestyle is designed to maximize speed in the short term but makes you tire quickly and increases risk of injury by emphasizing fast, shorter, powerful strokes. Total Immersion's Perpetual Motion Freestyle is designed to help you swim longer with more ease and enjoyment, and to allow for the easiest transition from pool swimming to open water. There is no more efficient - or satisfying - way to swim freestyle! Previous Total Immersion swimming DVDs have helped thousands transform struggles into skills, because they provide a rich visual guide to the key positions and movements of low-drag, high-fluency swimming. The Self-Coached Workshop on Perpetual Motion Freestyle goes a step further by teaching you how to learn, not just how to swim. Dozens of fine points and tips on how to avoid the most common missteps and increase your sense of clear direction are provided, based on TI's years of coaching experience. Whether you want to train for Olympics swimming or simply build your skills, this is a must-have for every swimmer!
Barbara Thompsons twelve-saxophone ensemble plays ten original works. One can hear from the first track, Perpetual Motion how rich and colourful is her scoring, its density and contrapuntal cleverness going hand in hand. What is so refreshing about Thompsons writing for this large all-saxophone ensemble is its variety. As an eminent executant herself, she knows the instrument from the inside and can write for it, as Benny Carter did before her, with a technical assurance and very personalised and particular sound world that makes her writing so distinctive. To take just one more example, Bulletproof has a snazzy, cinematic drive both exciting and visceral and one that instantly compels attention. The ensemble includes some inspiring musicians - Rob Buckland and Andy Scott to the fore - and plays with terrific verve.