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Album Review

There's no denying that Béla Fleck & the Flecktones — which on 1998's Left of Cool now boasted Jeff Coffin in addition to Fleck, Victor Wooten, and Roy "Futureman" Wooten — can play. Often, it's enjoyable to just hear them jam; however, for most fans, the greatest pleasure on Left of Cool will be finding the little details within the solos. The opener, "Throwdown at the Hoedown," is one of a handful of cuts that really makes a lasting impression.


Born: 10 July 1958 in New York, NY

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Premier banjo player Béla Fleck is considered one of the most innovative pickers in the world and has done much to demonstrate the versatility of his instrument, which he uses to play everything from traditional bluegrass to progressive jazz. He was named after composer Béla Bartok and was born in New York City. Around age 15, Fleck became fascinated with the banjo after hearing Flatt & Scruggs' "Ballad of Jed Clampett" and Eric Weissberg and Steve Mandell's "Dueling Banjos,"...
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Left of Cool, Béla Fleck
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