Jeff Coffin & Charlie Peacock: Beautiful Beggar
Arc of the Circle (Runway Records RN-1003)
Composed by Jeff Coffin & Charlie Peacock.
Recorded: Nashville, TN and Brooklyn, NY, 2008
Rating: 90/100 (learn more)
What defines jazz? When talented musicians get together for forays that don't follow conventional and familiar routes, must we turn a blind eye and stubbornly refuse to see where things lead? Here multi-reed player Jeff Coffin, of Béla Fleck & the Flecktones fame, ventures into Grammy Award-winning pianist/ composer Charlie Peacock's Nashville house to experiment with controversial themes. The result is a fascinating series of explorations that some will say go beyond the boundaries of jazz and transgress into the realm of musical soundscapes. No catchy melodies here. At times it borders on riding through a carnival fun house in the dark; you never quite know where it will take you, but are titillated by the possibilities of something new and different at every bone-jogging twist and turn. Coffin's sound is very probing, while Peacock's piano, which runs the gamut from delicately lyrical to jagged and hard in attack, lays the groundwork and sets the direction. On this duet, Coffin's contemplative tenor is in perfect sync with Peacock's Jarrett-like voicings. This "Beautiful Beggar" is short, meditative and inspired.
Reviewer: Ralph A. Miriello