Rocket Science (Deluxe Edition)
Rocket Science brings the original Flecktones together for the first time since Howard Levy left the group in 1992. Béla Fleck (banjo) and brothers Victor (bass) and Roy “Future Man” Wooten (drums, drumitar) have continued to tour and record together as the Flecktones since then, but the reintroduction of Levy on harmonica and piano clearly provides a creative boost. Occasionally a single member moves into the spotlight as Future Man does on the percussion solo “The Secret Drawer” or as Victor Wooten does on the melodic “Falani” in which his bass is the lead instrument and the other three lock in behind him. Otherworldly virtuosity fills these tracks while still allowing enough space to let the music breathe. The conversation between banjo and harmonica is particularly crisp on “Gravity Lane,” “Like Water,” and “Bottle Rocket,” “Life In Eleven” follows an energetic Eastern European time signature, and the Middle Eastern-flavored “Sweet Pomegranates” is one of the more dense and adventurous pieces here. Rocket Science is an intoxicating and unclassifiable brew of bluegrass, jazz, classical, blues, and rock.