"It’s a musical conversation. We all have stories to tell, and to share them with friends is something we all like to do. We laugh with each other, we feel the joys, the sorrows, the beauty, the pain, the experience of being alive and the experience of being together.”
The pairing of these two internationally renowned musicians, three-time Grammy-winning saxophonist/composer Jeff Coffin (Dave Matthews Band, Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, Jeff Coffin & the Mu’tet) and the legendary, two-time Grammy-nominated, jazz/fusion drummer Jeff “Apt. Q-258” Sipe (Aquarium Rescue Unit, Trey Anastasio, Jeff Coffin & the Mu’tet) was inevitable. Their ongoing search for connectivity through musical dialogue reflects the heart of the human relationship and that relationship between these two masters of their craft is the foundation for Coffin and Sipe’s highly accessible, innovative, and improvisational release, Duet on Compass Records.
Jeff and Jeff are no strangers to one another. “Jeff Sipe and I have been playing music and touring together since the late 20th century in various incarnations of the Mu’tet, his trio, playing in jam sessions at festivals, as well as talking about music, swapping stories, hanging out at each other’s homes, and becoming lifelong friends along the way,” says Coffin. The two actively tour in Coffin’s Mu’tet, a group renowned for its jazz-fusion feel and world-beat undertones. Sipe recorded on the Mu’tet CD Bloom, Coffin’s 3rd release from Compass Records about which One Way Magazine said, “...one seriously amazing record...Bloom is like a musical Mardi Gras that parades down Bourbon Street and into your heart. "
This personal and working relationship allowed “the Jeffs” to create their duo concept and record the album as a complete conversation between two musicians and friends. “We share similar views about music, and creating, and of allowing the spirit of what we do overtake us and we allow ourselves to be led by it. For this project, we decided to ‘just play’, record everything, and see what came out the other side of the rabbit hole. No expectations,” comments Coffin. Stripped of their ensembles and with their ‘no rules’ attitude, they holed up in Brevard, NC, at the Brevard Music Center with their array of horns, drums, gongs, bells, flutes and whistles, where their conversations continued to flow
The resulting recording is presented as a “single, stream-of-consciousness listening experience.” Coffin and Sipe brought various working ideas and musical thoughts to the session, but there was no agenda and no completed compositions involved. They wanted this to be an interactive musical discussion and dialogue. The album is thematic and improvisational, intended to be seamless in a nearly symphonic style. Says Coffin, “As listeners, we can all become part of the performance if we allow ourselves to be captured by the moment…We wanted to document the ebb and flow of creating musical conversations between two people familiar with each other who like to talk. We hope you enjoy listening to the music as much as we enjoyed playing it.”
Jeff Coffin has been on tour with Bela Fleck and the Flecktones since 1997 and with Dave Matthews Band since 2008. Jeff’s playing is melodic, passionate, and hypnotic with hues of fusion, jazz, world music, rock and an improvisational nature that is definable only as “music” and Jeff, as a “musician.” Known for his ability to play two saxophones at once, in the style of Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Coffin looks for the unexplored and uniqueness in playing his instruments. Coming out of the University of North Texas with a degree in Music Education, and a Yamaha Performing Artist since 2001, Coffin creates time in his extraordinarily busy touring schedule to further music education by presenting clinics in colleges, high schools, and junior high schools in a worldwide arena. Jeff also finds time as an amateur photographer to document his travels and the Duet jacket photos and most of the inside photos on this CD (and on his previous two, Bloom & Mutopia) were taken by him.
Jeff Sipe is a musical child of the Jazz, Rock, Latin, Indian, Blues, Bluegrass, and Funk worlds. His incredible chops sustain any groove in any style and his unusually perceptive and sensitive playing makes him versatile, insightful, and an inspiration to musicians around the world. He is renowned for his mind bending drumming with the Aquarium Rescue Unit, Trey Anastasio, Jeff Coffin & the Mu’tet, Susan Tedeschi, Phil Lesh, Project Z, Jonas Hellborg & Shawn Lane, Alex Machacek, Keller Williams, The Jimmy Herring Project, and many, many others.