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January/February 2004

Erik Jekabson
Intersection
Fresh Sound New Talent

Erik Jekabson was a member of New York's eclectic Howard Fishman Quartet before he returned to his native California to study composition at the San Francisco Conservatory. (At this writing, he's on leave to tour with pop sensation John Mayer.) Intersection, Jekabson's debut on Fresh Sound New Talent, documents the trumpeter's considerable gifts as a cutting-edge jazz player and writer. The disc features Matt Otto and John Ellis switching off on tenor, Ben Monder on guitar, Alexis Cuadrado on bass and Mark Ferber on drums. Jekabson thinks in big, broad strokes, particularly with "A Night on the Town," which begins as a minor-key cooker but ventures outward to droning funk and even minimalist abstraction. The title track, another centerpiece, opens and closes with an ear-twisting, rhythmically daunting fugue; Jekabson keeps the listener guessing until the last note. But this record offers simpler pleasures as well, such as the waltz "Invigoration" (featuring an animated Ferber on brushes) and a closing trumpet and guitar rendition of "You Go to My Head," the only nonoriginal of the set.

Originally published in January/February 2004
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