Left of Cool – Béla Fleck & the Flecktones

with Dave Mathews and Amy Grant

Label: Warner Brothers

Flecktone time once again! Now that we had connected with Jeff Coffin, a fantastic multi instrumentalist who excelled on saxophones, flutes, and bass clarinet, we stuck his shaved head on the cover of the album and we stood on it. He grew to like that over the new 14 years, or at least he said he did! This was our first album with Jeff, and he brought a hard edged funkiness to the band. We were back with a fresh sound, and it was the beginning of new glory days for us. At this point our friendship had kindled with Dave Mathews Band. We were opening piles of shows for them, and we sat in with DMB on all of them. I had found myself writing some songs with lyrics, and this was a new development that I didn’t know quite what to make of. But Future Man has a great voice and was into trying some of these out. Of course there was a significant backlash, from folks that thought we were selling out. Well, we wouldn’t have minded some widespread pop acclaim, but if we really wanted it badly enough, we probably shouldn’t have had Dave Mathews sit in on such an odd song, in such a strange meter. At any rate, along with the sometimes maligned vocal songs, we had some classic Flecktone instrumentals, such as Sojourn of Arjuna, Big Country and shanti, and the new sounds of Jeff Coffin loud in the mix.