CD Reviews: Jazz 2K for January

January 14th, 2015, 2:00 pm by Greg

Reviews by J Hunter

In an effort to keep the momentum going from the last month of 2014, here’s some music you need to check out – either on your own, or on “Jazz2K @ The Saint”:

Between working with Orrin Evans’ Captain Black Big Band and being the George Gee Swing Orchestra’s musical director, trombonist David Gibson has been plenty busy since his tasty 2011 Posi-tone release End of the Tunnel. That said, the Oklahoma native must have found a few minutes to scribble down some notes, because Boom! comes out of the chute like a Brahma bull on Red Bull and doesn’t let up for a second. That doesn’t mean it’s all pedal-to-the-metal like the hard-bopping “Eyes of Argus,” the swirling dervish title track or the charging opener “The High Road”; some of the best moments are the softer ones, like the loving ballad “The Dance” and Gibson’s joy-filled take on “Change the World.” What keeps this date’s emotional needle pinned in the red is Gibson’s choice to bring in two players who match his intensity volt for volt: Josh Evans’ trumpet has the kind of counter-punching power Freddie Hubbard delivered back in the day, and Theo Hill’s Trump-rich keyboard lines weave stunningly striking colors, be they acoustic on Gibson’s high-flying treatment of Tom McIntosh’s “The Cup Bearers” or electric on the sneaky-good “Grass Fed.” David Gibson may have been doing great work for others, but Boom! shows it’s time for him get out there and really blow his OWN horn!

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INTERVIEW: Jeff Coffin of the Jeff Coffin Mu’tet

September 9th, 2011, 9:30 am by Greg

Fairly or unfairly, Jeff Coffin is known primarily as a sideman and a substitute: The multi-instrumentalist replaced harp wizard Howard Levy in Bela Fleck & the Flecktones, and then he stepped into the gap left in the Dave Matthews Band after the sudden death of saxman LeRoi Moore.

But Coffin has also been making his own music for nearly 20 years, and anyone who saw the Jeff Coffin Mu’tet’s incendiary performance at the College of Saint Rose’s Massry Center this past spring knows just how wild that music can get.

The Mu’tet – which also features Derek Trucks Band keyboardist Kofi Burbridge and second-generation bass wunderkind Felix Pastorius – is one of the featured acts at the 10th annual Port of Albany’s Riverfront Jazz Festival in Albany’s Riverfront Park on Saturday, and Coffin was kind enough to give us some time out of his chock-full schedule:

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