Shanti - Bela Fleck and the Flecktones (1998)
Oh Left of Cool, you came along at the right time! All I needed was a Dave Matthews cameo to open my eyes to Bela Fleck's insane talent. With Futureman, Victor Wooten and Jeff Coffin, Bela has come up with the tightest instrumental group since Weather Report. Good things abound in their catalog, but I always return to Left Of Cool for its staggering diversity. This is exemplified in "Shanti", a Eastern-tinged ballad that features Bela playing a Sitar-Banjo hybrid. It is transcendental in its scope, and the tip of the iceberg for a perfect album.