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Uncommon Ritual

Meyer , Fleck , Marshall Audio CD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)

Price: $8.98 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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MP3 Music, 17 Songs, 1997 $8.99  
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Uncommon Ritual + The Goat Rodeo Sessions
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 30, 1997)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sony
  • ASIN: B0000029VI
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,853 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Uncommon Ritual
2. Seesaw
3. Sliding Down
4. Chromium Picolinate
5. Contramonkey
6. Chance Meeting
7. Zigeunerweisen
8. Travis
9. Old Tyme
10. Contrapunctus XIII From 'The Art Of The Fugue'
11. Third Movement From 'Amalgamations For Solo Bass'
12. By The River
13. Big Country
14. Barnyard Disturbance
15. In The Garden
16. Child's Play
17. The Big Cheese

Editorial Reviews

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
86 of 87 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Top Class "Classical-Bluegrass Fusion"!!!! March 5, 2001
Format:Audio CD
One could call this "classical-bluegrass fusion," but that wouldn't be quite accurate, since both the string bass and mandolin have a large repertoire in classical music, however the banjo doesn't. While the bluegrass influence is felt on many of the original pieces by Edgar Meyer and Bela Fleck, with Meyer at the helm of this project the classical influence is predominant.
One could also call some of these selections classical music voiced for bluegrass instruments, which would be particularly true of "Contrapunctus XIII, from "The Art of the Fugue," by J. S. Bach. Since I grew up on Bach--who is still my favorite composer--I loved this selection. The banjo and mandolin blend into this Baroque piece very nicely.
As a guitarist, I really enjoy Fleck's piece, "Travis," on which he tastefully fingerpicks on a National Guitar. This is a nice departure from his usual superb banjo work!
Another beautiful folksy melody--one that I find myself humming often--is "Big Country," also by Fleck. (He also does this tune with the Flecktones on "Left of Cool.") With Mike Marshall playing guitar on this cut, it reminds me of Marshall's exquisite album with Darol Anger called "Chiaroscuro."
Edgar Meyer is a masterful composer and bassist. This album is a great vehicle to feature his melodic playing on the string bass--an instrument usually relegated to a supportive role--often in the low register of the instrument, but it's amazing how he can make the instrument soar into the ranges of both the cello and violin.
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39 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Appreciation comes with time August 24, 2001
Format:Audio CD
"Uncommon Ritual" was my first purchase after discovering the absolutely wonderful "Skip, Hop, and Wobble" (Jerry Douglas, Russ Barenberg, and Edgar Meyer), and I have to admit that I didn't get it at first. I loved Meyer's "Sliding Down" and Fleck's "Travis" and "Big Country," which are truly timeless Americana. But the experimental stuff, like "Contramonkey," "Chance Meeting," and "The Big Cheese" left me scratching my head. Huh? Now, after listening to the CD at least once a week for a couple of years (I guess that says all you need to know about how good it is), I have to admit that even the more obscure tunes are brilliant. Consider this CD a crash course in music appreciation. Example: One morning I found myself focusing on the incredibly expressive violin in "Zigeunerweisen" (instead of working- the coffee hadn't kicked in yet) but couldn't find one in the liner notes. Surely that wasn't Meyer on the bass? I had no idea that a contrabass had so much range! I consider Edgar Meyer's collaborations to be the most consistently rewarding CDs in my collection, which spans the gamut from Bach to Marley. Check out the more classically influenced "Appalachian Spring" and "Appalachian Journey," the wild jazzgrass/spacegrass of "Telluride Sessions," the acoustic adventure "Skip, Hop, and Wobble," and the fusion masterpiece "Short Trip Home." Or, for a great start, the new compilation "Heartland: An Appalachian Anthology."
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unbelievable! July 24, 2000
Format:Audio CD
After listening to Appalachian Waltz and Journey, I found it hard at first to get into this album, particularly some of the less-structured tracks. After some time though, it grew on me, and now I can see just how amazing this is.
Edgar Meyer is probably the greatest bassist ever, and nowhere does he showcase it better than on this album. What makes his playing so wonderful, aside from jaw-dropping technique, is his pure naturalness. He plays bass the same way that Itzhak Perlman plays violin, or Emmanuel Ax plays piano. What is positively frightening is that not only does he join a handful of people in history who are bass immortals, but he achieves this in a full menagerie of styles, as well as having bountiful talent and sensitivity as a composer and even a pianist.
If this was just a Meyer album, it would be wonderful, but on top of that, we have the amazing contributions of Bela Fleck and Mike Marshall, both of whom are virtuosos themselves in every sense of the term. As a result this is a CD with as much music shoehorned into it as any the Kronos Quartet ever released. I cannot praise this album enough.
Highlights for me would be the title track, Chromium Picolinate, Zigeunerweisen, the down-home groove of Old Tyme, Contrapunctus XIII, and the positively staggering Third Movement from "Amalgamation for Solo Bass" (which taught me very quickly that even when I could play the most demanding sections of Beethoven's Ninth that I had only begun to learn how to bow).
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Wonderfully Eclectic Ride! November 18, 1999
Format:Audio CD
Something for everyone here; a wonderfully eclectic ride! I have found that anything associated with Edgar Meyer and his cohorts: Sam Bush, Jerry Douglas, Yoyo Ma, Russ Berenberg, Bela Fleck, seems to be wonderfully unique and always exquisitely executed. This is certainly no exception! Three world class musicians take us on a journey through classical to bluegrassy to somewhat jazzy, and yes, it all seems to work superbly (who'd a thunk it?)! This is a sit down and listen to album. It's just too involved and too good for mood, or background music. Get yourself a glass of white wine and turn up the volume. Listen and enjoy! Check out some of the other albums the above musicians are involved in!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Uncommonly Exceptional
This is an amazing collaboration of classical style and original American bluegrass. It's a treasure that appeals to nearly everyone!
Published 5 months ago by Paula M.
5.0 out of 5 stars I may have to order again - I think I'm wearing it out.
This CD is fantastic! My brother gave me my first copy for Christmas a few years ago and then I bought one for a friend. Listen to it often.
Published 8 months ago by music lover
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfection
This is one of the greatest albums ever made. I put it right up there with Dark Side of The Moon and Sgt. Pepper. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Kidgloves2
5.0 out of 5 stars Full of depth, range and surprises
Outstanding recording, amazing mix of compositions. Indescribably delicious, full of depth, range and surprises, and all superbly recorded. Read more
Published 10 months ago by HankieG
5.0 out of 5 stars Captivating
Edgar Meyer and Bela Fleck are genius. I don't have much experience with Mike Marshall, but he did an extremely fine job working with Meyer and Fleck. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Beaux Hargrove
5.0 out of 5 stars Masterful
This music is electrifying. I sometimes put this on when I'm trying to go to sleep and I subsequently utterly fail to nod off. Read more
Published 15 months ago by amandali
5.0 out of 5 stars fantastic stuff
the edgar meyer and bela fleck combo is just wonderful. they are genius in the blending of these two instruments. Read more
Published 15 months ago by cteno4
5.0 out of 5 stars Unbelievable!
Every time I listen to this, I am experiencing it anew and hearing things i hadn't heard before. Three virtuoso performances that make me want to learn how to play the... Read more
Published 16 months ago by Bruce L. Robinson
4.0 out of 5 stars I really enjoy listening to Edgar Meyer
Edgar Meyer is a consummate musician and shows it again on this album. He also showcases Bela Fleck and Mike Marshall. Read more
Published 17 months ago by HeatherMS
5.0 out of 5 stars Tradional Music as Chamber Music
This is good stuff, not flaky like new age, but decididly different in approach. Restul but interesting and masterfully done.
I find myself listening to it repeatedly
Published 17 months ago by J. Williams
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