Coffin/Perlson/Krauss
Street Date: September 15, 2023
Label: Ear Up Records

Coffin/Perlson/Krauss - the brainchild of three virtuosic musical masters: renowned saxophonist Jeff Coffin, accomplished drummer Jordan Perlson and bass legend Viktor Krauss due out on September 15, 2023. This nine-track debut of all original music is a thrilling sonic odyssey that showcases undeniable musicianship and boundless artistic expression.

Coffin, Perlson and Krauss first started playing together in 2020. Like many great musical combos, their union came together by chance. “I needed a bassist to fill in for someone on a trio gig and I reached out to Viktor,” says Coffin. “I was pleasantly surprised he was available, as he’s usually incredibly busy due to his touring and studio commitments. He’s long been one of my favorite bassists and his tone and feel are like no other I’ve ever heard.” The drummer on the gig was Jordan Perslon, one of Coffin’s first-call musical compatriots and frequent collaborator. The connection among the trio was evident instantly. “There is a special musical chemistry that permeates with Jordan and Jeff that generates a sum greater than its parts,” Krauss reflects. 

Coffin agrees. “It’s not often that 'the magic' suddenly happens and the bells go off and the stars align but it happened that first day we all three got together to work on the music.” He described the atmosphere as warm, and closely locked in. “We all love listening to each other play and we’re excited to hear what surprises lurk around the corner when we improvise.” During the pandemic, the three Nashville based musicians formed a social pod, and made playing together a regularity as long as they were safe to do so. Gifted with time, the trio decided to record at Krauss’ home studio to officially document this special collaboration, eventually settling on seven compositions and two solo works. 

Coffin/Perlson/Krauss begins with the emotive “On The Precipice Of Change”, inspired by the turmoil and conflict of the present day. “I felt some kind of tipping point that we were all falling into,” Coffin comments. “Vik is the rock on this tune and we kind of tether to him for stability. It’s a deeply emotional tune and Jordan's playing reminds me of the profound legends of the drums in the way he pulls rhythm and feel from his instrument.” The thoughtful “Moonchild” comes next. Written for his wife, this charming motif conveys both lightness and depth, and features Coffin on clarinet. The angular toe-tapper “Say It Seems” is a quirky rhythmic marvel described by the composer as “super fun to play and [to get] caught in its web of trickery.” 

A few months before recording Coffin/Perlson/Krauss, Coffin took to the studio to lay down Songs of Solitude, a meditative three-part rumination inspired by the early days of the pandemic. “Quiet” was the centerpiece of that project, and it gets the trio treatment here on the 2023 update. Spacious and transparent, Coffin’s soprano soars and slowly swells, suggesting a serene trancelike state for the listener. 

Wayne Shorter has been one of Coffin’s prime inspirations over the course of life. “A Handful Of Beans” is inspired by him, an ode to a sonic explorer. “His music sailed on a higher vibrational plane than most,” Coffin reflects. Krauss’ lyrical double bass solo is a standout moment, and is fittingly complimented by Coffin’s dazzling soprano saxophone solo. “Rusty Fortune” and “Su Filindeu #6” are solo features for Perlson and Krauss respectively, and both display their mind blowing talent and mastery of their instrument. 

Between the two is Krauss’ “Overcast”, the album’s lead single, and an outstanding feature for Coffin on bass flute. Performing on the very instrument owned by the late woodwinds master Yusef Lateef, Coffin’s tone is rich and warm, his performance beautifully intentional. Coupled by Krauss’ soulful bass in the melody, “Overcast” is haunting and melancholy, and imbued with intrigue. Krauss’ “Here To Be Me” is a vibrant ride that bursts with energy. A favorite to perform live, the band here really lets loose while rocking the house. 

Coffin/Perlson/Krauss comes during a particularly fruitful period for the three musicians. Jeff Coffin remains one of the busiest musicians on the scene, touring worldwide with the Dave Matthews Band while releasing a steady stream of invigorating new material via Ear Up. Last year, Coffin gained his first-ever GRAMMY nomination as a leader for Between Dreaming And Joy and just months ago, Coffin released Look For Water, which was called “bright” and “inspired” by Glide Magazine. Jordan Perlson is one of the most versatile drummers in Nashville, with appearances on more than 100 records, and with credits alongside jazz iconic Seamus Blake, Gary Burton and David Liebman to folk heroes Alison Brown and Missy Raines to genre-busting innovators like Becca Stevens and Snarky Puppy. Viktor Krauss is one of the world’s most influential bassists with a touring and recording career that includes Lyle Lovett, Bill Frisell, James Taylor, Tom Jones, Shawn Colvin, Sheryl Crow, Carly Simon and many more. In 2022, he joined Robert Plant and his sister Alison Krauss on their Raise The Roof tour, completing the most recent leg this summer.

Coffin/Perlson/Krauss

DICK METCALF
CONTEMPORARY FUSION REVIEWS
"You’ll hear the intimate wizardry of Jeff Coffin on tenor sax, soprano sax, clarinet, bass flute; Jordan Person doing drums, percussion and Viktor Krauss’s upright bass… they create pure jazz magic for your ears on this 9-song gem of an album!" . Check out the full review here.

KEVIN JOHNSON
NO TREBLE
"There is a special musical chemistry that permeates with Jordan and Jeff that generates a sum greater than its parts..." . Check out the full review here.

JIM HYNES
MAKING A SCENE
"Coffin continues with the soprano on the Wayne Shorter inspired “A Handful of Beans,” which features his outstanding solo as well as one from Krauss as each explores the kind of lyrical terrain associated with the late musical legend." . Check out the full review here.

RON WYNN
NASHVILLE SCENE
Check out this 2023 year in review here.

JAY N. MILLER
PATRIOT LEDGER
Read the full article here.