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 Whispers on the Wind CD/LP/Track Review Whispers on the Wind
by Jack Bowers
Published: October 23, 2017
Read Shropshire Lads: Songs to the Poems of AE Housman CD/LP/Track Review Shropshire Lads: Songs to the Poems of AE Housman
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: October 23, 2017
Read Heptagon CD/LP/Track Review Heptagon
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 23, 2017
Read ON Tour CD/LP/Track Review ON Tour
by John Kelman
Published: October 22, 2017
Read On a Distant Shore CD/LP/Track Review On a Distant Shore
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: October 22, 2017
Read Friends & Heroes: Guitar Duets CD/LP/Track Review Friends & Heroes: Guitar Duets
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 22, 2017
Read "In The Past" CD/LP/Track Review In The Past
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 2, 2017
Read "Introducing the Simon Eskildsen Trio" CD/LP/Track Review Introducing the Simon Eskildsen Trio
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: September 19, 2017
Read "Testimony" CD/LP/Track Review Testimony
by Jack Bowers
Published: January 13, 2017
Read "Chase The Light (Excursions in Soul, Reggae, Funk, and Dub)" CD/LP/Track Review Chase The Light (Excursions in Soul, Reggae, Funk, and Dub)
by Joe Gatto
Published: June 24, 2017
Read "Port Bou" CD/LP/Track Review Port Bou
by Mark Sullivan
Published: March 15, 2017
Read "Morphometry" CD/LP/Track Review Morphometry
by Duncan Heining
Published: August 29, 2017

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY IT!  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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