Béla Fleck has spent his entire career convincing people the banjo is much more versatile than we thought. And he makes a pretty strong argument.
In addition to winning 13 Grammys, he’s been nominated in more categories than anyone in history, from bluegrass to classical to world music to jazz. But that last genre continues to be a hard sell at times, as he showed Friday playing with the Marcus Roberts Trio in the early show at the Kessler Theater.
Roberts is one of jazz’s most daring pianists, and he and Fleck did find moments of transcendence as they merged their instruments and sailed off on long flights of fancy. Fleck also clicked with upright bassist Rodney Jordan for a delicious fusion of bluegrass and bowed bass.