Trip To the Casbah
Trumpeter Ecklund’s ten original tunes are all well thought out and arranged and have generated fine performances from a quintet of relatively well known NYC area musicians. The band seems to have been stimulated by the tunes and to have have gelled during the recording and we have results that are in some ways better than the sum of the parts. Tenor saxophonist Donny McCaslin and guitarist John Hart provide solos that are generally better than those on their own CDs. Drummer Tim Horner and bassist Bill Moring provide good support with the right amount of interaction.
The recording quality is good; it brings out most of the individual musicians well without losing a group sound, but the bass is too weak in the mix. The packaging is good and Ecklund has succeeded as a producer as well as a composer and performing artist.