208

Nathan Eklund Group: The Crooked Line

Troy Collins By

Sign in to view read count
The Crooked Line is New York based trumpeter Nathan Eklund's vibrant sophomore effort, following his 2006 debut, The View From Afar (Jazz Excursion Records). Joined by his erstwhile quintet, Eklund and company ply a subtly adventurous program of mainstream post-bop.

Joined by saxophonist Craig Yaremko, pianist Joe Elefante, bassist Brian Killeen and drummer Josh Dion, Eklund and company are typical of many young conservatory trained jazz musicians; technically proficient and highly accomplished, yet still finding their own voices on their respective instruments.

A solid soloist with a warm lyrical tone, Eklund demonstrates early promise with his creative re-interpretations of classic covers. While his originals traffic in swinging hard-bop, it's his hip re-interpretations of three choice covers that make the biggest impression.

Jerome Kern's "All The Things You Are" is the most traditional cover on the album, albeit laced with inventive harmonic variations, full of lyric beauty and proof Eklund and company know their changes. Lee Morgan's hard bop classic "Totem Pole" may seem like a predictable cover choice for an outfit like this, but casting the tune as a straight-up tango full of dramatic verve is anything but expected.

Re-imagining Bjork's Teutonic epic "Isobel" as a funky soul-jazz number, Eklund brings a fresh perspective to her work. While covers of Bjork and Radiohead are nothing new for the younger jazz generation, re-envisioning a grandiose tune like "Isobel" as a gospel-inflected groove shows serious forethought and a welcome sense of playfulness.

A devotee of Thad Jones and Kenny Werner, Eklund's own writing swings with harmonic complexity and tuneful accessibility. Employing melodies of unusual bar length, metric modulation and dynamically varied arrangements, Eklund's writing offers subtle twists on classic formulas. From the delicate ballad "More Ways Than One" and the brisk waltz "Emancipated Thinking," to the Latin lilt of "Kydee" and the brisk post-bop of "Scatterbrain," his tunes sample from a deep well of classic jazz traditions.

A subtly innovative and highly enjoyable sophomore effort, The Crooked Line shows great future potential for Eklund and his group.

Track Listing: The Mayor; Emancipated Thinking; Isobel; Scatterbrained Prelude; Scatterbrained; More Ways Than One; All the Things You Are; Kydee; Totem Pole; The Crooked Line.

Personnel: Nathan Eklund: trumpet, flugelhorn; Craig Yaremko: saxophones; Joe Elefante: piano; Brain Killeen: bass; Josh Dion: drums.

Title: The Crooked Line | Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: Jazz Excursion Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.

Two As One

Two As One

Nathan Eklund
Crafty Christmas

Professor Dissendadt

Professor Dissendadt

Nathan Eklund
Coin Flip

Live Reviews
Album Reviews
Read more articles
Coin Flip

Coin Flip

OA2 Records
2010

buy
Trip to the Casbah

Trip to the Casbah

Jazz Excursion Records
2009

buy
The Crooked Line

The Crooked Line

Jazz Excursion Records
2008

buy
The Crooked Line

The Crooked Line

Jazz Excursion Records
2007

buy

Related Articles

Read Getz At The Gate Album Reviews
Getz At The Gate
By Chris May
June 19, 2019
Read Keep Talkin' Album Reviews
Keep Talkin'
By Dan McClenaghan
June 19, 2019
Read Night Owl Album Reviews
Night Owl
By Dan Bilawsky
June 19, 2019
Read Let's Play Album Reviews
Let's Play
By Don Phipps
June 19, 2019
Read Hidden Corners Album Reviews
Hidden Corners
By Dan McClenaghan
June 18, 2019
Read Special Album Reviews
Special
By Jakob Baekgaard
June 18, 2019
Read Land Of Real Men Album Reviews
Land Of Real Men
By Friedrich Kunzmann
June 18, 2019