Just as Saltair Resort keeps reinventing itself, Saturday night's concert with Phish and Bela Fleck and the Flecktones will be an opportunity to see two bands who are writing the book on improvisation.

The concert starts at 8 p.m. Saturday at Saltair. Tickets are $15 in advance, $17 the day of the show, and are available at all SmithsTix.Phish's fans are so devoted there is a computer network (Phishnet) where "mail" is answered individually by band members. Phish toured with Santana, who said of them, "When you're playing, the audience is a sea of flowers, the music is water and you're the hose. The best thing you can do is just get out of the way and let it happen."

Bela Fleck, who is opening for the group, is a big fan of Phish. In a telephone interview from Nashville, Fleck said, "Phish is an alternative rock kind of band and we're excited to be playing with them. We've wanted to do it for a long time."

Fleck spent eight years with the New Grass Revival before going solo with the Flecktones. His virtuosity on the banjo and the ability to make the folksy instrument speak in jazz is legendary. Asked if he maintained the frenetic energy of the New Grass sound, Fleck said. "Absolutely! There is the most similar feeling of forwardness, it's mesmerizing. Taking that energy, we are a little more exploratory."

The Flecktones were originally composed of Fleck, Howard Levy and his blues harmonica, bassist Victor Wooten and his brother, "Future Man," and his "drumitar," a synthesized drum played like a guitar. Levy left the group this year. Fleck said, "I was nervous how people would react to the reworked music of three of us, but it's been positive."

Fleck's latest Warner Brothers Records album is titled "Three Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" with guest appearances by Bruce Hornsby and Branford Marsalis.The music is typical Fleck: shape-shifting sounds that fuse folk, blues, jazz and funk. "It was fun playing with Branford and Bruce," Fleck said.

Asked if he missed singing as he did with the Revival, Fleck said, "No. I just sang harmony. It's the writing that I try to do that's satisfying. I do the type of tunes that are melodic and fun and rhythmically interesting. I've always tried to play a lot of different types of music. When I played blues and jazz on the banjo with friends, they seemed to get excited that I was doing something different. The music I play is like you blended some gumbo. If you taste the rice in here you're missing the point. It's the whole blend that makes it."

Whatever Bela Fleck and Flecktones cook up at Saltaire Saturday night promises to be a musical treat.