Three Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest

Trio album with Victor Lemonte Wooten and Future Man plus guests Branford Marsalis and Bruce Hornsby

Label: Warner Brothers

The fourth Flecktones Album

At the end of 1992 after 3 nonstop years of intense touring, Howard Levy decided to leave the group. It was a tough moment, and we didn’t know if we could survive his departure, at the time. We mulled over a variety of options, and ended up going with the idea of trying the band as a trio. What could we do with less, and how could the three of us be more? We locked ourselves into my back room for a month of serious practicing and reinvention. After that, we went down to ST Thomas and did a residency at Barnacle Bill’s, where we got free pizza and a chance to try out the new material in a secluded area. The trio was a really strong period of growth for the three of us. Instead of handing all the complicated sections of songs to Howard to deal with, we had to find ways to solo through or arrange them on our own, and we got better at it. The fans accepted the change in the band, and it didn’t seem to impact our success. If anything,our audience continued to grow steadily. And though Howard was missed, I don’t remember anyone telling us they were disappointed in the trio; some folks still tell me it was their favorite period. In the studio, we did mostly trio stuff, but used the space to justify adding two of our favorite musicians as guests, Branford Marsalis and Bruce Hornsby, both of whom made wonderful contributions to our music.