Nathan Eklund Group

Coin Flip

oa2 22069

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MUSIC REVIEW BY Brad Walseth, Jazz Chicago

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Trumpeter Nathan Eklund is back with his fourth release as a leader on Coin Flip another strong effort full of solid playing and swinging and melodic original compositions. He is reunited with saxophonist Craig Yaremko and joined by Fender Rhodes player Steve Myerson, bassist Kellen Harrison and drummer Shawn Baltazor. The music's somewhat retro feel is offset by Myerson's electric piano, and his playing is delightful, but his reliance of the instrument also somewhat forces the tunes to have slightly too similar of a sound throughout for my taste. "Rooicka's Castle" opens things strongly in a post-bop mode, while "Professor Dissendadt" moves from an unusual time signature opening into a funky groove. Yaremnko's saxophones are a perfect complement to Ecklund's fiery trumpet and impressive technique. "The Supernatural" is moody, but fortunately heightened by Eklund's gorgeously-toned flugelhorn. The burning hard-bop "Triple Shot Express" features nice solos by the front line, and includes a spotlight for Baltazor on drums. The lovely ballad "Happy's Sadness" is a showcase for Myerson, and Eklunds pulls out the flugelhorn again with subtle beauty that matches Baltazor's sensitive work on the drum kit. The 11:27 "Front Lawn," meanwhile, may be the most experimental composition on the recording, with some "free" sections and penetrating solo explorations. The title track bring stings back from the brink quite successfully with bassist Harrison taking a fine solo shot. "Chim's Paradise" - a sprightly number ends the release quite well, with Eklund again serving notice that he is a composer to be noted.






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