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Bela Fleck & The Flecktones 'Reunite'

Bela Fleck & The Flecktones 'Reunite'
Bela Fleck & The Flecktones 'Reunite'

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Doug Levine

Bela Fleck & The Flecktones have reunited.  Actually, they never broke up, but the award-winning fusion band has revived their original lineup for a new album called “Rocket Science.”

Bela Fleck & The Flecktones celebrate their 23rd year with the return of co-founding member Howard Levy.  The pianist and harmonica player spent four years as a Flecktone, appearing on their first three albums and touring the world, before his announcing his departure in 1992.

While the Flecktones carried on as a trio - and later a quartet - with saxophonist Jeff Coffin, Howard Levy ventured into pop, rock, classical, Latin and world music, as well as music for theatre and film.

In 2009, he accepted an offer to re-join the group on a tour across the U.S. and Europe, fueling the fire for the quartet to return to the studio.

Together again on “Gravity Lane,” it’s banjo master Bela Fleck, Howard Levy on harmonica, bassist Victor Wooten, and Victor’s older brother Roy “Future Man” Wooten playing percussion and Drumitar.  Future Man’s self-invented Drumitar, also known as a synth-axe, is a guitar-shaped instrument that replicates the sound of samplers and drum machines.

Fleck adapts to just about every known musical category.  A familiar Grammy contender, he has been nominated in more categories than any other artist, including jazz, bluegrass, classical, arranging and songwriting.  He contributed nine new songs to “Rocket Science.”

His interest in rekindling the original lineup came simply from wanting to pick up where they left off all those years ago.  Fleck says, “I was intrigued by what we could do that we haven’t done before.”

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