On Monday night, the news broke on Twitter than Jovan "J-1" Coleman, the drummer in Dam-Funk's Master Blazter trio, had died Sunday in Sweden. The cause of death is unknown. He was 32.
Dam-Funk has released this statement:
"At this time, we send our most deepest condolences 2 the family & friends of J-1/Jovan Coleman, who passed in Sweden. Details on his passing are not available at this time. Just know that our brother will be missed deeply. *R.I.P. 2 our brother J-1 (Jovan Coleman) aka THE DEER & drummer of Master Blazter. *We love U sincerely brother & we will always rep U!!"
On Monday evening, Coleman's life was celebrated at Funkmosphere at Carbon, with an all wax set from his close friend DJ House Shoes. The news of his death has rocked the local music world, with a litany of DJs and musicians tweeting their condolences, including Peanut Butter Wolf of Stones Throw and Brainfeeder's Flying Lotus and Gaslamp Killer. ?uestlove of the Roots, no stranger to exceptional drumming, also sent out a RIP message.
After moving to Los Angeles four years ago, Coleman cut an impressive swath through the music world. Both a drummer and producer, Coleman joined Shafiq Husayn's En'AFreeKa Ensemble and Animal Kingdom. In addition, he dropped beat tapes and podcasts through Heavyweight Production House (HVW8). Yet he was most fondly remembered as the percussive heart of Master Blazter. Just watch this clip of the band playing a set at the HVW8 Gallery to see a drummer with an unparalleled sense of space, swing and timing.
Earlier this year, he released a stellar mix to accompany his "The Yellow" EP. In the weeks to come, there will inevitably be a spate of tributes to the Deer, but his own work might amount to the best eulogy possible.
-- Jeff Weiss
Photo: Jovan "J-1" Coleman; Credit: Stones Throw website