Photo Credit: C. Taylor Cruthers

Previously, Béla Fleck announced the impending release of his final duo project with jazz titan Chick Corea. Titled Remembrance, the set is slated for release on May 10 via Thirty Tigers and has been previewed today with the new single “Juno.” The project represents the last showcase of the duo’s inveterate musical connection, which stems back to their initial offering, 2007’s The Enchantment.

A stunning presentation of instrumental interplay, “Juno” propels the artists’ ability to integrate keys and strings into a commanding five-plus minute composition. The duo recorded both live in concert during the duo’s final tour dates in 2019 and traded sound files to expand upon the range of the song, which is named and inspired by Fleck’s son. 

“On May 19, 2013 my son Juno was born—three weeks early. I was across the country, in California and couldn’t get home til early the following morning. I took the red eye from San Fran, with a layover in Dallas. I was sitting in Dallas under the fluorescent lights around four in the morning, waiting for the first flight to Nashville, seriously bummed to have missed the birth, when it occurred to me to pull out my banjo and write a birthday tune to bring home to him,” explained Fleck. 

“And this tune, based on the syllables of his name, popped out very quickly. I showed it to Chick and it quickly developed into a very playful tune. One of my fondest memories is of Chick sitting at the piano with Juno in his lap, jamming together,” continued Fleck, adding further context to the album preview. 

The final documentation of Fleck and Corea’s instrumental conversation includes three previously unreleased compositions from the late piano master and five short improvisations, or impromptus, written by the 18-time Grammy Award-winning banjoist. Leaning into the specialty of the recordings, the title track shared today represents one of Corea’s last pieces of recorded music. 

Stylistically, the set ebbs and flows, ultimately showing off the two masterful artists’ range and ability to come together as a cohesive musical force. Remembrance features tracks such as “Enut Nital,” or “Latin Tune,” spelled backward, and “Continuance,” an aged work that resurfaced in the duo’s setlist. Moreover, new pieces are also included, like “The Otter Creek Incident” and today’s “Juno” drop. 

While Corea passed away in 2021 at age 79, his influences on the music world and his jazz community reverberate across Remembrance. “With Béla, our duet has become so simpatico, and comfortable–comfortable spiritually,” Corea said in 2015. “And not meaning that we’re not adventuring musically, but I know that whatever we’re going to do is going to be musical.” 

In addition to the single release, Fleck has detailed an impending concert at Carnegie Hall on Saturday, May 4, 2024. Titled Béla Fleck: Rhythm, Raga & Rhapsody, the night will feature the New York premiere of “Rhapsody in Blue” performed with the Aeolian Orchestra, conducted by Eric Jacobsen, with added instrumentation from My Bluegrass Heart (Michael Cleveland, Sierra Hull, Justin Moses, Mark Schatz & Bryan Sutton), tabla master Zakir Hussain, pianist Bruce Hornsby, and woodwind player Anat Cohen. Tickets are on sale now. 

Pre-order Remembrance and stream “Juno below.

Chick Corea & Béla Fleck Remembrance:

1. The Otter Creek Incident (Béla Fleck)

2. impromptu III: march hare

3. Enut Nital (Chick Corea)

4. impromptu II: mock turtle

5. Bemsha Swing (Thelonious Monk, Denzil Best)

6. Lucky Bounce

7. impromptu I: cheshire

8. Remembrance (Chick Corea) 

9. Juno (Béla Fleck)

10. Scarlatti Sonatas (Domenico Scarlatti, arr.. By Corea, Fleck)

11. impromptu V: jabberwocky

12. Small Potatoes

13. Continuance (Chick Corea)