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Album Review

We've heard of quartets, quintets, sextets, etc, but "mu'tet"s? That's the multi-saxophonist's way of covering the many different ensemble switches and guest personnel appearing on this wildly wonderful, genre-defying effort, which was made possible by the hiatus of Béla Fleck & the Flecktones, of which Jeff Coffin has been a member of since 1997. The energy of the up-tempo tracks — which range from the brassy New Orleans "second line" party tunes "Move Your Rug" and "Better Do Your Thing" to the hip-hop soul-jazz of "The Mad Hatter Rides Again" — is so intense that you never want it to come down. When DJ Logic is working the turntables and Tyler Wood is doing the B-3, we be jammin' for sure. Thus, the dreary if well played "Circle of Wills" crashes the party with an unfortunate thud — but only temporarily, with the in-from-outer-space, seven-minute "Hatim" to the rescue. The song has a trippy African percussion vibe, moody bassline (by bandmate Victor Wooten) and creeping ambience, weird but cool as Béla Fleck's banjo plucks along with machine generated voices; the only disappointment here is the way too esoteric use of Kirk Whalum and Coffin's formidable dual sax talents. Coffin switches to flute on the folksy title track, which features a kids' choir, then steps aside as slide guitarist Pat Bergeson simmers with gospel intensity on the Coffin composition "Old Jack Craw" (which features no woodwind). Coffin's flute on the lyrical "As Light Through Leaves" is probably his most melodic playing on the whole disc, and his bluesy sax on "Wobble" makes for a fun-loving closer. All over the place? Sure. Self-indulgent? Maybe. But take away a track or two and the open-minded listener has probably never had this much crazy fun on one collection. So get over it.

Customer Reviews

The Tracks I've heard are tight.

I've bought the Mad Hatter and The Evil Boweevil. Both are incredible, have alot of a Karl Denson's Tiny Universe feel to 'em, except for Mad Hatter. I've been trying to figure out what time he's rockin on that tune; and it's great that Jeff has such solid Rhythm section guys, cause otherwise you'd make a drummer's head explode with that kinda funk. Praise be to Wierdbeard. He's the badest man with a sax I've heard in years. Jeff the man.

Great eclectic record

Jeff Coffin is one of the freshest and most talented saxophone/reed players working today. Although not a substitute for seeing the Jeff Coffin Mu'tet in a live setting (where they really shine) this is a terrific record full of great grooves, quirky metric surprises, and burning playing from the criminally under-known reedman for Bela Flek and the Flektones.

This guy is crazy good!

Some people say that what Jeff Coffin and his Mu'tet make sometimes isnt "music". Thats not the case. Its a different type of jazz yes, but still brilliant. I had the opportunity to play in a group that preformed with Jeff a couple weeks back. I've got to say, that was some of the craziest playing I have ever seen. 2 saxaphones at once!!! What he is doing is most definitely music, and people dont give him enough credit for what hes doing. On top of all of that hes a very nice person. Cudos Jeff for reinventing the way we listen to music, keep doing what you're doing. Oh, by the way, Weird Beard and Wobble are awesome.


Born: United States

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Saxophonist/composer Jeff Coffin is perhaps best known for his work with Béla Fleck & the Flecktones, but he has also maintained a thriving solo and collaborative career since 1991, when he left his native Texas for Nashville, Tennessee after graduating college. Coffin has provided support for a wide array of artists, including the Dave Matthews Band, Van Morrison, Branford Marsalis, Medeski, Martin & Wood, and the Mavericks; closer to home, he plays with the Vibration Arts Ensemble and established...
Full Bio
Bloom, Jeff Coffin
View In iTunes
  • $9.99
  • Genres: Jazz, Music
  • Released: Feb 01, 2005

Customer Ratings