168

Bela Fleck and the Flecktones: Left of Cool

Ed Kopp By

Sign in to view read count
Bela Fleck is one of the most innovative musicians in contemporary jazz: he has completely recast the role of the banjo in jazz. Honorary Flecktone Jeff Coffin joins the fold on Left Of Cool, a lengthy and intermittently absorbing CD. Coffin is a Nashville saxophonist who's far jazzier than Paul McCandless, the saxman who usually plays with the Fleckmen. Coffin is a nice addition to the band, though apparently it's a temporary arrangement. This is no landmark album, but many of its melodies will grow on you. I particularly like "Throwdown at the Hoedown," "Big Country," "Trane To Conamarra," and most especially the old-timey jazz number "Sleeping Dogs Lie." Many of these 15 tracks are extremely mellow, but Fleck, Coffin and bass virtuoso Victor Wooten make them interesting. I would have preferred to hear more of Fleck's banjo synth and far less of Future Man's reedy vocals. I also prefer real drums to Future Man's synth-drumitar contraption, but I must admit his invention sounds amazingly like a real drum set. I'll also concede that Future Man and his non-drums are visually appealing in concert. Dave Matthews does a Sting immitation on "Communication," and Amy Grant appears on one tune. An OK Flecktone release, but the boys have done better.

| Record Label: Warner Bros. | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Final Concert CD/LP/Track Review The Final Concert
by John Sharpe
Published: February 19, 2017
Read On Hollywood Boulevard CD/LP/Track Review On Hollywood Boulevard
by Budd Kopman
Published: February 19, 2017
Read Desire & Freedom CD/LP/Track Review Desire & Freedom
by Glenn Astarita
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Motorman's Son CD/LP/Track Review The Motorman's Son
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 18, 2017
Read "A Result of the Colors" CD/LP/Track Review A Result of the Colors
by Tyran Grillo
Published: June 8, 2016
Read "Out & About" CD/LP/Track Review Out & About
by Doug Collette
Published: July 3, 2016
Read "Desire & Freedom" CD/LP/Track Review Desire & Freedom
by Glenn Astarita
Published: February 19, 2017
Read "River Silver" CD/LP/Track Review River Silver
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 23, 2016
Read "The Beautiful Day" CD/LP/Track Review The Beautiful Day
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 6, 2016
Read "Light Shines In" CD/LP/Track Review Light Shines In
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 2, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!