I mentioned in the Marcus Miller post from two weeks ago that Jeff Coffin liked music that moved him via his heart, head, rear end, or all three. For over a decade Coffin has been not only one of my favorite saxophonists, but one of my favorite musicians. Without getting too sentimental here, his playing consistently cuts to my core. It’s deep, complex, “out,” and yet maintains an overall “pop” sensibility that ties it all together. Sure, he can be wailing on extensions or multiphonics, but if he’s doing that then he’s backing it up with a solid rhythmic foundation that’ll keep most people tapping their toes regardless.
Briefly, in case you’re saying, “Who’s Jeff Coffin?”: A UNT grad, he originally gained recognition after joining Béla Fleck & The Flecktones in 1997. Since then he’s also released a number of (unfortunately) little-known yet amazing solo albums (I have them all). In 2008, he joined the Dave Matthews Band to replace LeRoi Moore after his sudden injury and eventual death that summer. (Being a DMB fanatic, imagine my guilt of always wanting to see Coffin sit in with DMB, only to have it actualized via Roi’s departure and passing…)
This week’s video is a compilation of Jeff’s solos from Dave Matthews Band’s performance at Rothbury 2008. He had sat in as a guest with DMB sporadically since 1998, but this was his fourth show as the full-time/only saxophonist after joining the band with a day’s notice. The video was snagged from a live feed that was broadcast during the festival, and it’s a great compilation featuring his solos on the following songs, in order: “Seek Up,” “Grey Street,” “#41,” “Jimi Thing,” and a small clip of “Anyone Seen The Bridge?” (with the Strauss interpolation). It’s also a great compilation because I of course attended the show, and remember it like it was yesterday. 🙂
A little treat, here’s a video I was lucky to stumble upon a few years ago of Jeff sitting in with DMB on “Two Step” in April 2002. This had long been one of my favorite solos I acquired from the taping community, so imagine my surprise when the video eventually surfaced! Throughout the song, Béla and all of the Flecktones sit in, but this clip is Coffin’s solo only. (I recommend watching the whole thing if you have time.) In under three minutes, he covers all the musical bases. (And imagine my frustration that this occurred on 04.21.02 – I saw them on 04.23.02 and 04.26.02. Oh well, the shows were still great. :))