Music In Our Dreams
Street Date: July 22, 2019
Pre-order: July 8, 2019
Label: Ear Up Records
Dream Shanti is a collaboration between some of the finest musicians to hail from the eastern and western hemispheres. Music In Our Dreams, the latest release from saxophonist Jeff Coffin and this ensemble, is due to be released on Ear Up Records on July 22nd, and pre-orders will become available on July 8th. The innovative compositions on this album flow freely between the indian classical and jazz traditions in a way that honors the richness of both, and yet seems to create a unique sound of its own. The confluence of these two traditions is expertly delivered by Coffin on saxophone, Subrata Bhattacharya on tabla, Indrajit Banerjee on sitar, fellow Dave Matthews Band band-mates Carter Beauford and Stefan Lessard on drums and bass, Roy “Futureman” Wooten and Jordan Perlson on percussion, Chris Walters on Piano, and Ryoko Suzuki on harmonium. Music In Our Dreams provides listeners with the rare opportunity to hear Coffin, Beauford and Lessard in a context very different than Dave Matthews Band, and to hear an ensemble of consummate musicians performing deeply evocative music.
The genesis of this album was a jam session held between Coffin and virtuosic indian classical musicians Subrata Bhattacharya and Indrajit Banerjee in Coffin’s home studio in Nashville, TN. The musicians each brought in original compositions and taught the pieces to the others by ear. Coffin asked Bela Fleck and the Flecktones percussionist Roy “Futureman” Wooten and New Orleans-born pianist Chris Walters to join the ensemble in recording the final product. “I’ve been making music with both these guys for over 20 years and know they are adaptable and super open to challenging themselves.” Coffin said of Wooten and Walters. Together with Coffin’s Dave Matthews Band co-stars, friend Jordan Perlson on percussion, and wife Ryoko Suzuki providing harmonium, this album is bursting at the seams with raw, genuine talent.
The album kicks off with “Joy”. Composed by Bhattacharya, this piece does a fantastic job of showcasing the musical facility of the entirety of the album’s personnel. The track begins with a Gershwin-tinged piano intro from Walters which builds into a deeply infectious groove performed by the rhythm section. Referring to the piano intro, Coffin stated “He really has his own sound and touch on his instrument and I love the way we start the whole record with this.” A section of the tune features Banerjee and Bhattacharya as a duo, paying homage to a more traditional orchestration before the full ensemble falls back into the tune’s hallmark groove. The superb fills at the end of the track, performed by Coffin and Bhattacharya, go a long way in punctuating the vibe and the rhythm of the piece as a whole.
“Take it to the Bridge” represents the perfect marriage between indian classical music and funk. This tune epitomizes the concept of the album as a whole, borrowing melodic and rhythmic concepts from the indian classical tradition while laying down a steady groove harkening back to the James Brown. Drummers Carter Beauford and Roy “Futureman” Wooten shine on this energetic, funk-fueled track with bassist Stefan Lessard laying down some fantastic lines throughout.
The performances of this dream band, made up of some of the finest musicians on the globe stemmed from a mutual interest in exploring the music of other cultures, and evolved into a testament to the universality of musical improvisation. Tabla player Subrata Bhattacharya states “This project is a collage of music that has united the expressions and the amazing harmonic connection of our souls. It was a great experience for me during this whole journey of creating “Dream Shanti”. The journey begins.
More about Jeff Coffin:
Jeff Coffin is a globally recognized saxophonist, composer, educator, and is a member of the legendary and iconic American rock group, Dave Matthews Band. You may also know him from his 14 years, and 3 Grammy Awards, with the genre-defying Bela Fleck & the Flecktones. Jeff fronts his own groups, the Mu’tet, In Orbit (with Michael Occhipinti), and The Viridian Trio, when not touring with DMB and has released 15+ solo cds on his own label Ear Up Records.
Coffin is known for his passionate and fiery soloing, his melodically driven compositions, his deep, committed involvement with music education, and his continued dedication to the improvisational musical art form some call Jazz. He is one of the top, in demand, saxophonists in the world as well as a first call studio musician in Nashville, Tennessee, where he has lived since 1991. Jeff is also a Yamaha & D’Addario Performing Artist and Clinician, teaches at the prestigious Vanderbilt University, authored The Saxophone Book, co-authored The Articulate Jazz Musician (with Caleb Chapman), and runs his own record label, Ear Up Records.
“Hearing instruments like tablas and sitars, usually associated with meditative spirituality, in a tougher, sweatier context is a little surreal, but once you get used to the climate change, it’s bracing and fun, with Beauford’s on-the-one funk beat, Coffin’s neo-Maceo alto sax screams, and Bhattacharya‘s rhythmic vocal scatting keeping the party cooking.” Read the full review here.
DEE DEE MCNEIL
"This music will transport you to Mumbai or Calcutta in the blink of an eye. It is an incredible blend of Indian classical music and the jazz tradition, featuring virtuosic Indian classical musicians, along with reed master, Jeff Coffin." Read the full review here.
"Saxophonist Jeff Coffin’s Music in Our Dreams is a real musical wonderland of sonic explorations and groove, and the result of a collaboration between some of the finest musicians from the Eastern and Western hemispheres." Read full 10 New Albums You Need to Know feature here.