Left of Cool

Left of Cool is the fifth studio album released by Béla Fleck and the Flecktones, released in 1998.

Left of Cool
Studio album by
ReleasedJune 9, 1998
RecordedBéla Fleck's house
GenreJazz fusion, progressive folk, progressive bluegrass, world fusion
LabelWarner Bros.
ProducerBéla Fleck
Béla Fleck and the Flecktones chronology
Live Art
Left of Cool
Greatest Hits of the 20th Century


Left of Cool is the first album to feature Jeff Coffin, who had already toured with the band after the departure of Howard Levy. The album cover depicts Future Man, Béla Fleck, and Victor Wooten standing on Coffin's head.

On the Live at the Quick DVD, Fleck describes how after the melody for "Big Country" came to him, he called his answering machine and sang it so it would not be lost.

A different arrangement of "Sojourn of Arjuna" appears on Victor Wooten's album What Did He Say? released the previous year.

Guests include Dave Matthews and Amy Grant.

Left of Cool is currently the highest-charting Flecktones album to date, as it reached #191 on The Billboard 200.


Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic     [1]

In his Allmusic review, music critic Stephen Thomas Erlewine wrote "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."[1]

Track listingEdit

Note: the liner notes swap tracks 6 and 7 & 11 and 12. The list below reflects the tracks as they are ordered on the album itself.
  1. "Throwdown At The Hoedown" (Béla Fleck) – 5:09
  2. "Communication" (music: B. Fleck/Future Man; lyrics: B. Fleck) – 4:16
  3. "Big Country" (B. Fleck) – 5:31
  4. "Sojourn Of Arjuna" (music: Victor Wooten/Future Man; lyrics: Future Man, adapted from Bhagavad Gita) – 5:27
  5. "Let Me Be The One" (music: V. Wooten/B. Fleck/Future Man; lyrics: B. Fleck) – 4:38
  6. "Trane To Conamarra" (B. Fleck/Jeff Coffin) – 6:48
  7. "Almost 12" (V. Wooten/B. Fleck/Future Man) – 3:15
  8. "Step Quiet" (B. Fleck/Sarah Mason) – 4:02
  9. "Oddity" (B. Fleck) – 5:32
  10. "Sleeping Dogs Lie" (B. Fleck) – 4:02
  11. "Trouble and Strife" (B. Fleck) – 5:15
  12. "Slow Walker" (B. Fleck) – 5:23
  13. "shanti" (B. Fleck/J. Coffin) – 5:12
  14. "The Big Blink" (B. Fleck) – 7:57
  15. "Prelude To Silence" (Future Man) – 3:55


The FlecktonesEdit

Guest musiciansEdit

Chart positionsEdit

Year Chart Position
1998 Billboard Heatseekers 6
1998 Billboard The Billboard 200 191
1998 Billboard Top Contemporary Jazz Albums 3


  1. ^ a b Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Left of Cool > Review". Allmusic. Retrieved August 3, 2011.