As we approach the upcoming Christmas Season holiday music is beginning to emerge impeccably with expected side effects of cheer that fills the air with a fragrance draped in the spirit of love, peace and hope. Maybe it’s by happenstance regardless of our condition for our pleasure these sounds arrive with the sole purpose of inspiring us at this time of year. In this case, trumpeter, composer, flugelhorn and producer Nathan Eklund is one of those musical surprises this year for jazz (music) lovers to embrace his vision in the realm of traditional of holiday music captured in what he affectionately titled “CRAFTY CHRISTMAS” on OA2 Records.
The disc opens with a holiday favorite “Winter Wonderland,” the melodic, intricate and soulful Eklund’s tone along with this imaginative assemble effortlessly brushed their buoyant voices into this piece with bright and winsome expressions to establish substance for these sumptuous holiday classics plus one original.
“The Christmas Song” appears next and features new comer Kevin-Anthony’s adoring style reminiscent of great vocalist before him enthusiast will surely be attracted to his relaxed yet unique ascents color this gem to give listener’s a fresh touch to this timeless Trome’ and Wells masterpiece. Moreover the sentimental musings of his voice are accentuated furthermore on “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” at the seventh spot on the recording.
In the mist of this fine collection Eklund establishes his voice in the universe of countless remakes of holiday classics by stitching his signature into the fabric of “Greensleeves” which opens with the brilliant artistry of pianist Oscar Perez. As a unit, the ensemble creates an atmosphere that’s shaped with uplifting tones and breathtaking interplay qualifies as a memorable and welcomed treasure attached to the brilliantly arranged and executed on “O Come, O Come Emmanuel.”
“Let it Snow” as you can imagine is the bright spot on the set tempo wise. Eklund and company conclude the session with a beautiful ambiance exemplified on the stunning “Silent Night” and also an original piece fittingly titled “Two as One” is an appropriate addition to this wonderful album.
If you haven’t heard music by the talented Nathan Eklund before then “CRAFTY CHRISTMAS” is a great starting point. With that said, if by chance Christmas music isn’t quite your cup of tea then I recommend “COIN FLIP.” Nonetheless, the album title originates from gathering with his sister and her three friends and their passion for making handmade Christmas gifts. Folks, this is a keeper at least around here. I highly suggest to those of you who have an appreciation for Christmas (holiday) music then you might want to add this record to your collection to brighten your Holiday!