Nathan Eklund Group: Coin Flip

Trumpeter-composer Nathan Eklund forges great frontline chemistry with tenor saxophonist Craig Yaremko on his fourth outing as a leader. Joined by Steve Myerson on Fender Rhodes, Kellen Harrison on bass and Shawn Baltazor on drums, the pair navigates with relative ease through challenging, time-shifting Eklund originals like “Rooicka’s Castle,” “Professor Dissendadt” and the uptempo cooker “Triple Shot Espresso,” the last track featuring some blazing solos from Yaremko and the leader. The two engage in bristling unison lines on the rhythmically charged, samba-flavored title track, then settle into Zen-like restraint on “Happy’s Sadness,” a sparse, evocative ballad that carries both emotions. They close in funky fashion on the catchy 5/4 number “Chim’s Paradise.”