Sunday, February 24, 2013

Jeff Coffin rescues jazz from egghead doom ...

… at least for me
Jeff Coffin

As always on a Saturday, a lot of music was going on in Springfield, but it was an especially good evening for jazz.

Jeff Coffin joined Missouri State University jazz bands for a free concert after a daylong festival of high school and middle school bands. Coffin adapted his tune, "Dewey," dedicated to Dewey Redman, for big band. It was one of the most uplifting pieces of music I have ever heard, while steering clear of treacle — and also one of the more challenging to listen to.

In a recent post, I lamented the advance of egghead jazz that leaves me cold, and, in another post, I looked forward to Coffin's appearance. His arrival was perfectly timed to relieve my funk.

After the concert with Coffin, we moved on the Creekside Bistro, where Brandon Mezzelo and his Triptet played "All Blues" in a manner that managed to encompass nearly all of Miles Davis's career. We left near the end and heard a hard-swinging tune bursting through the walls into the cold night as we walked to the car.  Over the years, I have enjoyed leaving a club a bit before the very end to experience the music still ringing out — it hadn't ended, it was still going on. And so, it happened again.

At right, Mezzelo from
a performance last fall.

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