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
and Woody Shaw
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
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
, 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
' "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.
Title: Coin Flip
| Year Released: 2010
| Record Label: OA2 Records