Title - 'Sextet'
Artist - Erik Jekabson
For those not in the jazz know, Erik Jekabson is a freelance trumpet player, composer, arranger and educator who lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.
He is equally busy playing and composing for different bands, leading his own groups, teaching a wide variety of students and running the Young Musicians Program at the California Jazz Conservatory.
Erik has six CDs out under his own name, his last one being Erik Jekabson Quintet (2017) on the Wide Hive Record Label. His other albums are: A Brand New Take (2016) on the OA2 record label, Erik Jekabson Quartet & John Santos: Live at the Hillside Club (2014), Anti-Mass”(2012), and Crescent Boulevard (2010) - which were all on his own Jekab’s Music record label.
His well-received debut CD, Intersection, was recorded in New York in 2002 and released on the Fresh Sound/New Talent label.
Erik also co-produced and played on four other recordings which are widely available: The Electric Squeezebox Orchestra’s The Falling Dream and Cheap Rent, Vista: the Arrival and New World Funk Ensemble.
He’s also recorded as a sideman on numerous other jazz recordings, as well as doing session work in many other genres of music and on movie and video game soundtracks.
He’s spent time on the road with Illinois Jacquet, John Mayer, Galactic, and the Howard Fishman Quartet, and has performed at such notable venues as the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Algonquin Room, the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, Madison Square Garden, the Tonight Show with Jay Leno and Late Night with David Letterman.
Erik currently leads his own ensembles in the Bay Area, and has just released his latest album entitled Sextet.
Featuring a beautiful combination of the sextet on the first half of the nine tracks and Erik Jekabson's Quintet on the latter half, this just-released album (Wide Hive Records) is one of the best that I've heard from this specific genre in the past decade.
1. 'San Pablo Avenue'
2. 'Floating Song'
3. 'The Hills Of Santa Cruz'
5. 'Cat And Mouse'
6. 'Hive Wide'
7. 'Gentle Wave'
8. 'Change Up'
Bringing together a very talented group that includes Hamir Atwal on drums, Dave Macnab on guitar, John Wiitala on bass, Jon Santos on percussion, and Dave Ellis on saxophone, the album kicks of in fine style with the late night, smoky underground hue of 'San Pablo Avenue.'
Next, they move into the much quieter avenues of 'Floating Song,' a gently contorted track that, along with the latter 'Change Up,' is also one of my own personal favorites on this wondrous new album.
'The Hills of Santa Cruz' is seamlessly up next, and in much the same vein of the last track, enables you to grasp a deep sense of where Jekason's mindset must have been for these moments.
The jazzy snare drum vibe of 'Chrysalis' then comes forth to change the pace up a wee bit, with the more ponderous 'Cat and Mouse' following thereafter.
The jazz heat is then turned up for 'Hive Wide,' which is backed by the quieter 'Gentle Wave.' The album then rounds out with the aforementioned, '60s film score-esque, and triumphant 'Change Up,' with the atmospherically-charged, eastern-flavored 'Medjool' wrapping things up very nicely indeed.
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