Saturday, November 15, 2014
Today, let's spend a little time with saxophonist Jeff Coffin and the Mu'tet, who will be in St. Louis to play next Wednesday, November 19 through Saturday, November 22 at Jazz at the Bistro.
Now based in Nashville, Coffin first gained wide attention in the 1990s as member of Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, and in 2008 joined the Dave Matthews Band after the death of their original saxophonist Leroi Moore from injuries suffered in an ATV accident. The Mu'tet is his main musical vehicle when not touring with Matthews, and after several previous appearances here in St. Louis, most recently in September 2013 at The Gramophone, this will be their debut at the Bistro. While he's here in St. Louis, Coffin also will be presenting a free performance and workshop on Saturday afternoon at Saxquest, as he's done on some previous visits.
The Mu'tet's current tour is in support of their new album Side Up, which was released November 4 on Coffin's own Ear Up label. Along with Coffin, the album features fellow Flecktone Roy "Futureman" Wooten on drums and Felix Pastorius, now also a member of Yellowjackets, on bass, plus keyboardist Chris Walters, trumpeter Bill Fanning, and more than a dozen guest musicians including St. Louis' own R. Scott Bryan on congas. Judging from the previews, it's a typically eclectic outing for the group, mixing jazz with Latin- and African-derived grooves, odd time signatures, and a variety of other influences.
In the video window up above, you can see a live version of one of the tunes from Side Up, "Mogador," recorded in February 2013 by an audience member at a gig in Atlanta. After the jump, there's another tune, "Lucky 13," from the same show.
That's followed by an excerpt from the Mu'tet's gig just last week at the River Street Jazz Cafe in Wilkes-Barre, PA. After that, you can see Coffin in a slightly more informal setting, in a pair of clips recorded here in St. Louis at Saxquest in February and September of 2013.
In the final video, you can hear Coffin's perspectives on the current state of jazz as expressed in his keynote address to the 2014 Jazz Education Network Conference in Dallas. For more about Side Up, read this interview Coffin did last week with Nashville Scene.
You can see the rest of today's videos after the jump....