Wide Hive Records
Erik Jekabson, trumpet/arranger/composer; Matt Clark, keyboard/piano; Gregory Howe, percussion/ composer; Mike Clark, drummer; Henry ‘the Skipper’ Franklin, bass; Mads Tolling, violin; Kasey Knudsen, alto saxophone; Mike Rinta, trombone/tuba; Ben Davis, cello; Jonathan Ring, French horn; William Winant, timpani/marimba.
What better way to start the day than to put on some solid, Straight-ahead jazz and let it soak into the morning air. This new album by Daggerboard was the perfect way to begin my day, opening with an original song of Gregory Howe and Erik Jekabson, “Centrifugal.” It’s a blend of old-school jazz with contemporary overtones. Funny, the title tune, “Escapement” sounds more like the motion of a centrifuge than the opening track. I participated in lab work during biology class, and we often had to use a centrifuge to separate matter. It spins in a certain way, and the introduction of their title tune reminded me of that circular spin, of how it starts slowly than gains momentum. However, Daggerboard’s arrangement soon settles down to a smooth, unobtrusive groove. Matt Clark steps forward with a piano solo that puts the ‘J’ in jazz. Erik Jekabson’s trumpet dances over the chord changes bringing light and energy to the arrangement.
Back in February of 2022, they released another CD featuring bass icon, Henry Franklin. It was titled “Daggerboard & the Skipper” (The Skipper is Henry Franklin’s nickname). Some songs had a Miles Davis/Gil Evans kind-of-feel, especially on the composition “Seven for Henry.” I can hear, on this new album, how their music has evolved.
All this new Daggerboard music has been composed by Erik Jekabson and percussionist, Gregory Howe. “Shiva’s Mode” has a very Middle Eastern essence with Howe’s precise percussion riding alongside Mike Clark’s trap drums like horse’s hooves. The addition of Mike Rinta’s tuba and Jonathan Ring’s French horn brings delightful color to these arrangements. Their tune called “The Balance Board” takes me back to the early1960s when Coltrane was king (1961 – My Favorite Things). Daggerboard offers us a pretty ballad with Jekabson’s trumpet introducing the melody and sirens echoing ominously in the background. I Flashback to the Peter Gunn television series, a popular detective series that ran from 1958 to 1960. That hit TV show utilized jazz as their music of choice and that was a first. The bass of Henry Franklin is distinctive beneath Clark’s piano solo and throughout their arrangement. Mike Clark shows off his brilliance on drums, building the suspense in the song. This is perfect music for that new series, Mr. & Mrs. Smith or any detective show.
I have reviewed several of the Daggerboard albums in the past. This one is my favorite to date. The compositions are creative, inspiring, imaginative, and just good listening. The blend of horns and electronics are perfectly matched with Erik Jekabson’s orchestral arrangements lifting the production beautifully. Plus, they definitely ‘swing’ and I love that about this project.
Reviewed by Dee Dee McNeil
Help Support Making a Scene
Your Support helps us pay for our server and allows us to continue to bring you the best coverage for the Indie Artists and the fans that Love them!
Make a one-time donation
Make a monthly donation
Make a yearly donation
Choose an amount
Or enter a custom amount
Your contribution is appreciated.
Your contribution is appreciated.
Your contribution is appreciated.DonateDonate monthlyDonate yearly