209

Nathan Eklund Group: The Crooked Line

Woodrow Wilkins By

Sign in to view read count
Nathan Eklund may only have been recording as a bandleader for a few years, but he already belongs in the class of such artists as Randy Brecker, Rick Braun and, perhaps, the greats he counts among his inspirations. Born near Seattle, Washington, Eklund began playing trumpet at age eleven, and later added the flugelhorn.

Interested in the music of jazz legends Louis Armstrong, Dizzy Gillespie and Clifford Brown, Eklund studied classical trumpet at Central Washington University. After further studies and a move to New York City, Eklund established his own quintet. He has also performed or recorded with several notable jazz artists including Joe Lovano, Richie Cole, Chuck Loeb, Eddie Daniels and Gerald Veasley, appearing on Spyro Gyra's Grammy-nominated Wrapped in a Dream (Heads Up, 2006).

The Crooked Line, the Nathan Eklund Group's second release, features the ensemble in a straight jazz setting, performing seven songs written by Eklund and three covers he arranged.

"Emancipated Thinking is an aptly titled piece. Eklund and saxophonist Craig Yaremko share the lead on the opening sequence of this delightful tune. Pianist Joe Elefante, bassist Brian Killeen and drummer Josh Dion underscore the leads quite effectively, with Elefante quickly getting into a free-spirited solo. The rhythm section is more subtle when Eklund takes point, but picks it up as his solo continues, with Killeen also contributing a solo.

One of the covers is "Isobel, by pop star Bjork. To one who isn't familiar with the original, it hardly matters. Eklund's arrangement stands alone, with sharp performances by all. Yaremko delivers a sizzling saxophone solo, while Dion, Killeen and Elefante get their licks in. After the solos, the band kicks into high gear for a stunning conclusion.

While all the tracks are free-spirited, and all but two—one being a 27-second prelude—clock in at more than six minutes, the title song may be the most expressive. "The Crooked Line is an exercise in stretching out, with Eklund, Elefante, Yaremko and Killeen taking turns with solos, then each engaging in a call-and-response sequence with Dion before the group closes it out.

From start to finish, The Crooked Line is engaging, with each musician having an opportunity to shine while maintaining the group dynamic.

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; Brian Killeen: bass; Josh Dion: drums.

Title: The Crooked Line | Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Jazz Excursion Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Kurrent CD/LP/Track Review Kurrent
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: October 17, 2017
Read Duets CD/LP/Track Review Duets
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: October 17, 2017
Read Rev CD/LP/Track Review Rev
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 17, 2017
Read The Frequency Modulators Orchestra, Vol. 1 CD/LP/Track Review The Frequency Modulators Orchestra, Vol. 1
by Jim Olin
Published: October 17, 2017
Read The Adventures of Zodd Zundgren CD/LP/Track Review The Adventures of Zodd Zundgren
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 16, 2017
Read Any Other Way CD/LP/Track Review Any Other Way
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: October 16, 2017
Read "Gin & Moonlight" CD/LP/Track Review Gin & Moonlight
by James Nadal
Published: August 26, 2017
Read "Rabble Rouser" CD/LP/Track Review Rabble Rouser
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: October 1, 2017
Read "Relaxin’ With the Miles Davis Quintet" CD/LP/Track Review Relaxin’ With the Miles Davis Quintet
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: July 19, 2017
Read "Innate" CD/LP/Track Review Innate
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: March 29, 2017
Read "Live at Ronnie Scott's" CD/LP/Track Review Live at Ronnie Scott's
by Geno Thackara
Published: September 10, 2017
Read "The Better Angels of Our Nature" CD/LP/Track Review The Better Angels of Our Nature
by Karl Ackermann
Published: July 20, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.