I'm not planning to be at the Chick Corea/Bela Fleck concert primarily because I live too far from Burlington to take in the full ten days straight. Now, however, the ongoing discussion here (and probably elsewhere) of Fusion and its discontents seems to be making this the most talked about gig of the festival before it even begins. I'm really curious at this point as to how the event might size up against my barely formulated expectations.
Briefly, the old story: As the fusion movement became progressively diffuse over the two decades following its start, it gradually became bled of its emotional resonance. The worst result in time became the mealy schlock/pop market-driven cheese mix already lamented in these postings. Less offensive but even more ubiquitous was all the "nice" music aiming to please and not offend. A bottomless appetite for both continues and grows stronger.
From these guys I'd expect more, though both have played to please the masses and no doubt will on June 6. What performing artist, after all, would want to pack a church basement when he can fill a stadium? But Corea and Fleck have have the chops--still--to deliver virtuoso stuff. If the music lacks heart and spontaneity, and it might or might not, it should still project the energy that defined the movement way back in the '70s. I'd expect each to work the other mighty hard and to get the obligatory standing ovations.
(Hey, let's ask Bob Blumenthal what he thinks if we get a chance. His knowledge and erudition are as solid as his judgment, and his contributions to previous festivals are considerable.)