3

Jeff Coffin Mu'tet: Into the Air

Mark F. Turner By

Sign in to view read count
Emmy Award-winning saxophonist Jeff Coffin is a venerable road warrior who's probably more recognized for his work in the high profile bands of banjoist Bela Fleck and singer/songwriter Dave Matthews , playing to stadiums of 30,000 screaming fans. But he's also at home performing in venues that hold 300 appreciative enthusiasts with his Mu'tet—a longtime ensemble that espouses Coffin's philosophy that music must change and mutate in order to evolve. Into the Air continues Coffin's evolution of progressive music .

Whether providing horn arrangements that sing a soulful lament in "A Half Sleep" or slipping down seedy back alleyways in the stealthy "U Don't Say," the release exudes a carefree mantra, its tracks spiced with the varied ingredients of old-school funk, blues, gospel, and other music elements, as well as earnest jazz musicianship.

The release profits from taut arrangements and tunes that have been chiseled on the road by a cast that includes veterans such as drummer Jeff Sipe and artful Benin-born jazz star guitarist Lionel Loueke on two tracks. The surprise, though, is found in the sinewy electric bass lines from Felix Pastorius (son of the great Jaco Pastorius), whose dexterous playing stands firmly on its own in regards to his esteemed namesake. His riff on "Lucky 13" is killer.

The Mu'tet delivers more than just jam band riffs covering the sounds of trumpeter Miles Davis or keyboardist Herbie Hancock's 80s' electric days in "8 Bit Goggles," as Coffin spaces out on electro-saxophone, or the equally far out "Slow Glass," as the horns harmonize in a languid stew. Then there's "Lucky 13" and "Loueke," which make good use of the guitarist's cunning chops and unique African voicings. Overall, there's a certain retro Harlem/soul-funk vibe to many of the tracks, with the exception of "Beautiful Flower," an introspective piece with a spiritual leaning that is just as memorable as its upbeat predecessors. It's a fitting conclusion to a solid release.

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

Warning: mysql_fetch_object(): supplied argument is not a valid MySQL result resource in /home/websites/jazznearyou.com/www/html/templates/calendar/cal_related_cached.php on line 39

More Articles

Read Crossing CD/LP/Track Review Crossing
by Geno Thackara
Published: June 25, 2017
Read Unit[e] CD/LP/Track Review Unit[e]
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 25, 2017
Read Such A Sky CD/LP/Track Review Such A Sky
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: June 25, 2017
Read Buer: Book Of Angels Volume 31 CD/LP/Track Review Buer: Book Of Angels Volume 31
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: June 25, 2017
Read BACHanalia CD/LP/Track Review BACHanalia
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 24, 2017
Read Hallways CD/LP/Track Review Hallways
by Paul Rauch
Published: June 24, 2017
Read "Kami Fusen" CD/LP/Track Review Kami Fusen
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 23, 2017
Read "Brasil L.I.K.E" CD/LP/Track Review Brasil L.I.K.E
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 30, 2016
Read "First Gathering" CD/LP/Track Review First Gathering
by John Sharpe
Published: April 4, 2017
Read "Spectre" CD/LP/Track Review Spectre
by Mark F. Turner
Published: July 24, 2016
Read "WAHOO!" CD/LP/Track Review WAHOO!
by Greg Simmons
Published: February 13, 2017
Read "Live in Japan" CD/LP/Track Review Live in Japan
by Mark Sullivan
Published: August 5, 2016

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.