Nathan Eklund Group's fourth album and debut for OA2 records features nine originals based on Nathgan Eklund compositions. Yet, as explained on their website:
'Although there is form and structure to every composition, the music is intended to give a great deal of interpretive responsibility and freedom to each member of the group. Through this approach, each of Eklund's works become a group arrangement, utilizing the creative energy and talents of the entire group.'
And that's just what you get with 'Coin Flip'. The band - Nathan Eklund (trumpet and fluegelhorn), Craig Yaremko (saxophones), Steve Myerson (Fender Rhodes), Kellen Harrison (bass), Shawn Baltazor (drums) ? delivers fine, free flowing jazz based around strong themes and well-structured arrangements.
There is something of the Weather Report ethos ? 'We always solo and we never solo' ? about this music in the way that each musician plays for the band rather than for themselves. However, 'Coin Flip' is firmly set in the post bop mainstream rather than fusion.
It is engaging stuff. 'Triple Shot Expresso', 'Coin Flip' and 'Chim's Paradise' are pleasingly uptempo while 'Professor Dissendat' is low down and funky. 'Rooika's Castle', 'The Supernatural', 'Happy's Sadness' and 'One Year Ago Today'' explore more subterranean moods. The long 'Front Lawn' has more improvised elements but still stays true to the ethos of the album.
This is a fine album by a band that continues to show originality and growth.