Horn of Plenty - Peter Ecklund

"It's great when a leader takes care to bring us some nearly-forgotten gems, rather than recording just the same Dixieland warhorses that everyone has heard a million times. This album - Peter Ecklund's debut as a leader - includes a few older tunes that I never expected anyone to record again. And throughout, Ecklund has focused on making the best possible music, not just showcasing his own playing. Too many leaders get self-indulgent when they record. They solo endlessly, using sidemen basically to provide backgrounds for them, which can get boring. You will hear a good deal of Ecklund's lively cornet on this album, but you will also hear a good deal of Dan Barrett's trombone, Vince Giordano's bass sax, Frank Vignola's guitar, Joe Muranyi's clarinet, etc. both in solo spots and in ensemble passages (plenty of them). Ecklund knows listeners welcome variety. ...to play the old-time jazz [he] plays on this album, you have to have a feel for the spirit of the music. And an understanding of the pre-bebop trumpet tradition. And [Ecklund] clearly does."

The presence of musicians such as the leader, Peter Ecklund, and the wonderful Marty Grosz, tells you to expect music with a smile, and so it is... There are a few seldom-heard tunes, which might properly be described as neglected: "I'm in Seventh Heaven" was, apparently, performed by Bing Crosby with Paul Whiteman, following its appearance in a Jolson film (which flopped). "Anything" is a similarly rarely-heard melody. The highlight of the whole CD is, undoubtedly, "Bull Frog Blues" by Frank Teschemacher. It has a fine Dan Barrett solo followed by a really 'bluesy' Muranyi clarinet solo. Peter Ecklund's muted offering is just superb. When the whole ensemble joins in the ride-out, you just want it to continue. "Sorry" will, I guess, always be associated with the Beiderbecke version. Whilst avoiding a straightforward cover, Ecklund's playing inevitably reminds you of Bix, but I, for one, am not complaining. This CD succeeded in brightening my day, and for that I'm grateful. What a wonderful tonic music can be!" --Barry Clare, Just Jazz Magazine, December 2008


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Jazz Battle I'm In Seventh Heaven Anything Is It True What They Say About Dixie? Jubilee Stomp Spain The Lady's In Love With You Can't We Be Friends? If I Had A Talking Picture of You Bull Frog Blues I Double Dare You When Day Is Done Sorry Take Your Tomorrow (And Give Me Today)

Additional Info

Additional Info

Format: Jazz Record
Soloist/Artist Peter Ecklund
Instruments Music and Musicians
Composer No
Accompanist/ Conductor No


Customer Reviews (3)

"Hot Ecklumd!"Review by Big Toots
CJ 23 Horn of Plenty Peter Ecklund

You’ve got to hand it to Peter Ecklund; he must have known that I’m an easy lover when it comes to an artist mining the rarely played repertoire and coming up with old gold. And, since he also probably knew that, for my ears, a bass sax is the musical equivalent of “my place or yours?,” that I’d fall for this album. OK, I did and I’ll say “I do!”

Ecklund, a very accomplished player with a marvelous sense of true 1920s cornet style, leads us here on a stimulating and high-energy rumble-seated ride through 14 rarely-heard, but s’wonderful gems (“Jazz Battle,” “Spain” (definitely not Chick Corea’s burner), “I Double Dare You”). There’s unique material here associated or composed by Isham Jones, Al Jolson, Jabbo Smith, Ellington and even Bix (“Sorry”). And, with a supremely talented side crew – Ken Peplowski, Vince Giordano (of “Blackhawks” fame), Frank Vignola, Joe Muryani) and rhythm gang that’s highly sensitive to the unique stylings of the period pieces, the entire recording is an unusual, but highly entertaining view of a robust period in American jazz and popular music. It is a hand-trembling and finger-flapping hoot.

As a player, Ecklund (who has worked in many diverse genres and even recorded with Gregg Allman!) has great technique and a classic cornet sound; more refined and pristine than garrulous and robust (“Is it True What They Say About Dixie?”). His approach to the material is swinging, on-target and thoroughly involved. You can tell that this Yalie did his homework on Pops, Beiderbecke and the like. Vince Giordano’s pounding bass sax, along with Peplowski’s and Joe Muryani’s clarinets add to the frolicking. The strummers Davis, Vignola and Grosz are spot on rhythmically, laying down fours that waddle.

Recently the HBO’s period drama, “Boardwalk Empire” (which used Giordano’s “Blackhawks” on the score) resuscitated selections similar to these. While that show may or may not revive interest in ‘20s material, in the interim, Ecklund’s “Horn of Plenty” serves as a “hornucopia” of supreme fun.
(Posted on 6/14/2015)
Peter Ecklund: Horn Of PlentyReview by Simon Sez
I haven’t heard much of Peter Ecklund lately, but back in the 1980s, he was playing with Marty Grosz’s groups and popping up in a lot of different settings including with Gregg Allman and Maria Muldaur. A fine cornetist, Ecklund could sound like someone from the 1920s (even Bix and Jabbo Smith) but, when he wanted, he had his own crisp sound.
Horn Of Plenty is one of his finest albums. The supporting cast (which includes Dan Barrett, Joe Muranyi, Ken Peplowski, Vince Giordano and Marty Grosz) cannot be beat, the arrangements are colorful, and the tunes include many obscure songs from the 1920s. Listeners don’t get to hear “new” versions of “Jazz Battle” and “Jubilee Stomp” too often.

Simon Sez: Peter Ecklund’s Horn Of Plenty (CJ23) from the 1980s is probably his finest album; great arrangements, sidemen, solos and songs.
(Posted on 5/6/2014)
Review by -Scott Yanow
"Peter Ecklund led other sessions in later years, but Horn Of Plenty is still his definitive and most inspired outing."

"Peter Ecklund, a hot and swinging cornetist who often played with Marty Grosz's combos, made his recording debut as a leader on this set from the 1980s. It is quite a tour de force for Ecklund is teamed with the who's who of classic jazz during the three sessions that form this CD. Assisted by such notables as clarinetists Joe Muranyi and Ken Peplowski, trombonist Dan Barrett, Marty Grosz and Frank Vignola on guitars, banjoist Eddy Davis, bass saxophonist Vince Giordano, and Barbara Dreiwitz on tuba, Ecklund emphasizes obscure but worthy songs from the 1920s. The Inventive arrangements, changes of instrumentation and large amount of variety make this a highly recommended acquisition for fans of early jazz."
(Posted on 6/7/2013)

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