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Throw Down Your Heart, Tales from the Acoustic Planet, Vol. 3: Africa Sessions

Bela FleckAudio CD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)

Price: $14.88 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
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MP3 Music, 18 Songs, 2010 $9.49  
Audio CD, 2009 $14.88  

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Tulinesangala 2:50$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Kinetsa 4:16$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Ah Ndiya 3:47$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Kabibi 2:28$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Angelina 2:49$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. D'Gary Jam 6:15$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Throw Down Your Heart 5:07$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Thula Mama 3:59$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Wairenziante 2:52$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. Buribalal 4:32$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. Zawose 3:20$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen12. Ajula/Mbamba 4:29$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen13. Pakugyenda Balebauo 2:58$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen14. Jesus Is The Only Answer 3:24$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen15. Matitu 4:19$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen16. Mariam 3:49$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen17. Djorolen 5:01$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen18. Dunia Haina Wema/Thumb Fun 7:13$0.99  Buy MP3 

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Born in 1958 in New York City, Fleck seemed destined to be a world-class musician from the start, having been named for three great composers: Béla (for Bartók), Anton (for Webern) and Leos (for Janáček). Already a powerfully creative force in bluegrass, jazz, pop, rock and world beat, Fleck made the classical connection with Perpetual Motion, his 2001 recording that ... Read more in Amazon's Bela Fleck Store

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 3, 2009)
  • Original Release Date: 2009
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Rounder / Umgd
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #32,496 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Full title: Throw Down Your Heart/Tales From The Acoustic Planet Vol. 3/Africa Sessions. 2009's Throw Down Your Heart chronicles banjo virtuoso and 18 time Grammy award winner Bela Fleck's musical journey to Africa to explore the little known African roots of the banjo. Bela's boundary-breaking musical adventure takes him to Uganda, Tanzania, The Gambia, and Mali, and provides a glimpse of the beauty and complexity of African music. Using his banjo, Bela transcends barriers of language and culture, finding common ground and forging connections with musicians from very different backgrounds. Throw Down Your Heart is also the title of the award-winning documentary film about Bela's journey to Africa.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bela Fleck jams with musicians across Africa March 22, 2009
Format:Audio CD

Bela Fleck took his banjo and traveled across Africa including visits to Uganda, Mali, Tanzania, and South Africa. At each location Bela jammed and recorded with the local stars, including kora master Toumani Diabate, guitarist D'Gary, vocalists Oumani Sangare and Baba Maal, ngoni player Baekou Kouyate, djembe player Madou Sanogo. This brief list of African stars only scratches the surface of what probably amounts to about 100 different African musicians that play on the various tracks on this album. Each track features a different group of musicians and is recorded in a different locale. The end result is a magnificent fusion of the banjo and traditional African music. There is just an enormous amount of material here with a total of 18 tracks. With so much diversity of material you are likely to find a track two that disagree with your tastes, but overall its hard to imagine any fans of Bela Fleck and/or traditional African music not loving this CD. My only criticism is it is too bad that legendary kora master Toumani Diabate only plays on one track. However, the two are currently touring the together, so if your lucky and they come to your town, you can see more of their amazing chemistry in concert.

Song Highlights:

D'Gary Jam - this is track features an all-star cast included Toumani Diabate and his Malian band, D'Gary on guiar, plus great vocals.

Throw Down Your Heart - Written by Bela Fleck on his way to Africa during a layover in Amsterdam, this is the best song writing on the CD. A great new Bela Fleck tune played with a small group of musicians from Mali.

Ah Ndiya - This track is highlighted by the gorgeous vocals of Oumani Sangare. Pretty and moving.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars another brilliant offering from Bela Fleck March 30, 2009
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Whenever I see a new Bela Fleck album is being released, I order it immediately. Bela is one of maybe 3 artists whose work I can always count on loving at first hearing, no matter what style of music it is. (And Bela has always been an eclectic and adventurous musician, exploring a wide range of musical genres.) This album is certainly no exception. The music contained on this CD is among the most soulful and hypnotic I've ever heard, and does an excellent job of illustrating the journey Bela undertook, to explore the African roots of the banjo. Also, I literally wept when I read the liner note explaining the album's title... then I wept again when I explained it to my wife! I am a huge fan of all Bela's diverse body of work, but the acoustic planet series is especially satisfying. Now I can't wait to see the documentary!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Cultural Handshake March 29, 2009
Format:Audio CD
On THROW DOWN YOUR HEART, banjo virtuoso Bela Fleck travels to Africa to trace the origins of his main instrument and play with local musicians. In doing this, he has created a beautiful album affirms his role in the banjo continuum and highlights some wonderful performances by his African host musicians. This album is a five star tour of the wonders of African music that uncovers one stunning performance after another. Working in several countries and with different musicians on each track, the album is packed start to finish with strong performances that will keep the adventurous music fan coming back again and again to enjoy. Also be aware that a film version of Fleck's journey will soon be released.
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18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A loosely played, travelling jam December 3, 2009
Format:Audio CD
The music on this CD is a collection of jams recorded while Fleck was traveling in Africa. I really admire Fleck's effort, but it falls short among other "banjo back to its roots" recordings. There are a few inspired moments, some ragged collaborations and a few things that simply don't work. The CD is interesting but does not stand up to repeated plays.

By comparison, "From Africa to Appalachia" by Jayme Stone and Mansa Sissoko is a far better recording. The musicians are finely attuned to each other and the tracks are bursting with creative energy. From a musical standpoint, "From Africa to Appalachia" should be up for the Grammy instead of "Throw Down Your Heart." But Fleck has the big name and Stone's CD is just a little gem on a little label without much distribution. You can listen to Stone on Amazon and compare: Africa to Appalachia. My favorite tracks are "Djula", "Dakar" and "June Apple".

Fleck has a chance to best Stone if he records a live or studio album from his tour with Bassekou Kouyate and Ngoni Ba (Segu Blue) in the spring of 2010.

If you're really into "banjo back to its roots", you should also check out Cheik Hamala Diabate and Bob Carlin (From Mali To America). It features quiet duets where Carlin is the student learning from the master, rather than the collaboration of equals found on "From Africa to Appalachia".
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bela has done it again March 20, 2009
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
What a great CD this is. The music is fantastic. I was already a fan of several of the musicians, and Oumou is one of the greats, but in reading the liner notes by Bela you can't help but feel the emotion that went into this project. If you are a fan of music you just can't go wrong with this one.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazingly wonderful October 29, 2009
Format:Audio CD
This is one of the most complex and beautiful CD's I've ever heard in any genre. I've listened to it over and over since getting it. Other reviews have praised the stars on the album, but what amazed me were the folks no-one's ever heard of and wouldn't have if it weren't for this CD -- the lunch ladies on the first track, the amazing folks from villages in Uganda with xylophones so huge they have to be placed into holes in the ground, etc. I'm a big fan of African music but had never heard music from Uganda and Tanzania -- someone needs to make CD's of their (semi-)traditional music available, that's for sure. The complexities of the rhythms are amazing -- sudden shifts, counterrhythms --- you can't help wondering: how do they do this? On many tracks there aren't even standard percussion instruments (or they're barely there) and the complexity is carried by voices and stringed instruments. And the sheer joy of so many of the performers! The only track I don't like is the D'Gary Jam (sorry all you D'Gary fans). The other tracks are purely wonderful.

This CD deserves 10 stars, not 5, absolutely.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars a fantastic 3rd installment, and much more
Although the movie makes the thesis of the project much more clear, this album is much more than a "mere" third installment of Tales from the Acoustic Planet. Read more
Published 3 months ago by E. A Young
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Album
Uplifting and danceable music. Great if you love african or latin music (not that it's latin but "Good" in the same way) or am a fan of the Putumayo kind of albums.
Published 3 months ago by rb
4.0 out of 5 stars Unique
won't be to everyone's liking, but Fleck's collaboration with African musicians is amazing. He is not being the star: he is learning to appreciate another culture and blends his... Read more
Published 10 months ago by M. COOLEY
2.0 out of 5 stars Not what I expected.
If you are expecting to hear something like Bela Flek playing with the Flektones, this is not it. If you expect something similar to Ry Cooder playing with Ali Farka Toure, no. Read more
Published 14 months ago by bcbeads
4.0 out of 5 stars Great album, DVD is better
I like this album, if you like Bela Fleck you need it now. I was however, in love with the DVD. I think something is lost when you can't see the music being played. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Francis X
5.0 out of 5 stars So Good!
This was a great documentary. Bela went to Africa and played with some of the best there. This is the wonderful soundtrack that went with that trip. Read more
Published 17 months ago by John b
5.0 out of 5 stars A treasure
Once again Fleck has not only shown his mastery, but also his humility in playing as accompaniment for various known and unknown African folk/traditional musicians. Read more
Published 21 months ago by Wade Hampton Cornell
5.0 out of 5 stars Throw Down Your Heart Vol. 3
I think what Bela Fleck did was incredible. The music music is great and fascinating
I love the way he did not want to dominate but let the Africans get their heart out in... Read more
Published 21 months ago by Sally Wright
5.0 out of 5 stars Perhaps even better than the movie!
These songs and tunes in audio isolation (vs. with visuals on his fine documentary DVD) are both powerful and playful. Read more
Published on May 4, 2012 by applewood
5.0 out of 5 stars Bela Fleck is a genius
This CD is a must for anyone who loves creativity and joy,not to mention a bit of ethnomusicology. The humor and delicacy of the playing and singing makes me wish I'd been on his... Read more
Published on February 19, 2012 by Richard Stein
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Topic From this Discussion
The short answer is no, not with this particular release.

From Bela's website:
- An edited version of the documentary will be aired as a Pledge Drive Special on WNPT the Public Television Station in Nashville on March 5 and then re-run throughout the month.
- The full documentary will have it's... Read More
Feb 19, 2009 by A. Hines |  See all 3 posts
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