Intersection, trumpeter Erik Jekabson's debut album as a leader, is an impressive post-bop affair that showcases the California native's softly cerebral improvisation style. With a trumpet sound not unlike his similarly minded contemporary Ryan Kisor, Jekabson has a crafted a stylistically varied album that ranges from the world fusion of the title track to the driving and angular swing/funk of "A Night on the Town." Interestingly, Jekabson displays a knack for writing unique, forward-thinking, and cliché-free compositions that nonetheless reveal a thorough understanding of jazz tradition. Backing the trumpeter are the adept rhythm section talents of guitarist Ben Monder -- calling to mind a young Pat Martino -- as well as bassist Alexis Cuadrado and drummer Mark Ferber. Similarly deep are tenor saxophonists Matt Otto and John Ellis summoning the spirits of Joe Henderson and Wayne Shorter as they spar a bit on the melancholy chamber piece "The Rising." A moody and introspective album, Intersection is a must-hear for fans of serious modern improvisation.
by Matt Collar