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Nathan Eklund Group: Coin Flip (2010)

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Nathan Eklund Group: Coin Flip How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

NewYork-based trumpeter/composer Nathan Eklund assembles a fiery, swinging quintet for Coin Flip, his fourth release as a leader and first for Seattle's OA2 Records. The nine track disc is as much a showcase for Eklund's convincing abilities as a composer and arranger as it is for his dynamic trumpet playing.

Eklund demonstrates an immense trumpet tone with technical agility, rooted in the post-bop tradition. Echoes of the late trumpet giants Freddie Hubbard
Freddie Hubbard
Freddie Hubbard
1938 - 2008
trumpet
and Woody Shaw
Woody Shaw
Woody Shaw
1944 - 1989
trumpet
can be heard on the meter-shifting opener "Rooicka's Castle" and the groovy "Professor Dissendadt," a tune reminiscent of a CTI Records date from the early 1970s.

Eklund and saxophonist Craig Yaremko
Craig Yaremko
b.1978
saxophone
forge their way through "Triple Shot Espresso" with bebop-driven ferocity, riding along the charged-up swinging pulse of drummer Shawn Baltazor and bassist Kellen Harrison. Countering the caffeine buzz, pianist Steve Myerson
Steve Myerson
Steve Myerson
b.1977
piano
, who plays Fender Rhodes throughout, introduces the luminous ballad "Happy's Sadness" with harmonic warmth. Here, Eklund demonstrates a mature sense of phrasing without the need for cliché.

"Front Lawn" stands out as a compositional highlight with an open-ended form, teetering on a funk-based groove without fully committing. It is this type of rhythmic freedom that leads to some of the more inspired soloing on the disc.

The session comes to a close with the soulful vibe of "Chim's Paradise," a bouncy 5/4 piece with a bass line reminiscent of Miles Davis
Miles Davis
Miles Davis
1926 - 1991
trumpet
' "All Blues." With solid writing, catered to the strengths of the individual band members, Eklund has developed a unique group effort, forward thinking with reverence to the past.

Track Listing: Rooicka's Castle; Professor Dissendadt; The Supernatural; Triple Shot Espresso; Happy's Sadness; Front Lawn; Coin Flip; One Year Ago Today; Chim's Paradise.

Personnel: Nathan Eklund: trumpet, flugelhorn; Craig Yaremko: saxophone; Steve Myerson: Fender Rhodes; Kellen Harrison: bass; Shawn Baltazor: drums.

Record Label: OA2 Records

Style: Modern Jazz


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