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Jeff Coffin

Jeff Coffin

Though he calls his national debut for Compass Records Commonality, there’s not much mundane or predictable about master saxophonist Jeff Coffin’s style. His boldness, intensity, and verve set him apart from other saxophonists and, since March 1997, his work with Bela Fleck and the Flecktones.

“The idea was to have a more intimate setting where I could try some different things compositionally and have a transparency in the sound that would give us a lot of freedom to explore rhythms and different harmonic possibilities without a chordal instrument,” says 34-year-old Coffin. “I’ve been playing with Nashville-based Tom Giampietro [drums] and Chris Enghauser [acoustic bass] for about four years, and on this album we had a lot more room to stretch out. We weren’t in a hurry to get anywhere.” Trumpeter Rod McGaha, a Compass artist who also plays with Max Roach, adds tempered musicality to four of Coffin’s nine originals.

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