I have been crazy about the talent of saxophonist Jeff Coffin, 3 time Grammy winner since the 1990’s. I first saw him with Bela Fleck in New Orleans and I was enthralled with his musical skills. I simply could not hear enough! Currently Coffin is shining on stage with the Dave Matthews Band, (a little research says Coffin will also be on tour with Bela Fleck in December 2010).
Several years ago a large group of folks rented a historic home in NOLA’s Garden District for both weekends of Jazz Fest. Our group represented Oregon, Nevada, California, England and Spain. We were a mix of all ages and backgrounds. Most of us only knew 3 or 4 of the other people we shared the house with but the experience was great. The home was in a state of being remodeled but overall it was a very comfortable place to share some meals and our adventures, get our bearings for the evening, plan the next day and solidify new relationships. (Sharing a garden district home in New Orleans with friends, and friends of friends, became a wonderful annual tradition.)
I was at the festival early the day Jeff Coffin played with Bela Fleck and the FleckTones. Wow, when Coffin pulled out both a tenor and alto sax and played his “Too Horny Blues” I knew it could not get better than that. Coffin’s immense talent, a sunny day, an oyster po’boy sandwich and by my side a gorgeous tall California volleyball player who was genuine (and really good at maneuvering through the intense crowd).
As we walked off the grounds that afternoon, my tall friend was looking around for the best exit. Then he commented, just a bit too loudly, “Hey, that sax player you are crazy about is right behind us.” Of course I spun around and it was true! Coffin grinned, picked me up off the ground and twirled us around, sweetly kissing me as he put me back down. Okay, it may have been a brotherly kiss, but I was too excited to really rate it . . . nothing Coffin will keep in his data bank, but that instant is indelible in mine even after all the years!
I have longed for a cut of Coffin’s gutsy song where he plays both saxophones at once but I have never found it on any of his album’s or Bela Fleck’s. Dave Mathews has his own agenda so I doubt it will show up there, but at least Matthews is very visible, so now I more frequently glimpse the gentle soulful sax player that sport’s a shaved head and some wild chin hair. Coffin is also one of the more eco-conscious musicians around, something else I have always admired about him. And you know by now how a camera is always in my hand . . . the photography bug has captured Coffin too. More about Jeff here: http://www.jeffcoffin.com/bio.html