Sonically pastoral beauty that delights the senses and evokes the listener in an engaged journey beyond can be found throughout this phenomenal release. … Set to a milieu of expressive percussion and arco textures, Eckemoff traverses the listener through a canvas of beautiful harmonic colors with liberated pianism. Mazur underpins with cymbals in a flurried but cohesive accompaniment to Eilertsen focused yet perceptive, soloing. The beauty of the opening cut sets the thematic journey through the many landscapes, creating an atmospheric troposphere that is intoxicating.
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Pianist and composer Yelena Eckemoff undoubtedly turns heads (and raises many eyebrows) when listeners hear her rare blend of classical chamber music and progressive jazz on her latest CD, Forget-me-not. …Overall, the record is intriguing and intellectually stimulating. At times romantic, often eerie, but always intimate, it’s as though a dreamy mist descends upon you while you’re listening to it.
Yelena Eckemoff’s latest offering Forget-me-Not is a jazz and classically infused exploration of beauty, textures and improvisational genius. …With a vast discography, that includes some of the leading figures in jazz today, Eckemoff has clearly established herself as a top ranking composer. The question is no longer whether she can be considered in the ranks of top composers; it is now how far her musical journey will take her.
Eckemoff’s talents are walking the artistic tightrope of her personal experience in Moscow and that of the form and function of the more traditional western improvisational forms of jazz in the United States… Eckemoff is the type of artist to drive a critic and most major label executives to the nearest ledge as her prolific talents sidestep the more standard categorization with ease.
The ambient soundscapes and eclectic tresses of Forget-Me-Not from pianist Yelena Eckemoff showcases music that stimulates the mind through complex entanglements and ethereally textured chimes reverberating in a broad range of keys and decibels. The improvised parts are proportioned to the structured motifs so the tracks keep their autonomy while maintaining a melodic fluidity.
There is an unmistakable note of nostalgia in the music that is only intensified with each new listen. For me, more overtly personal tracks like these reach deepest. Take, for example, “Mama,” which is a brilliant and sublime confluence of time, space, and technique that seems to constitute the very heart of what Eckemoff is capable of at her best.
Flying Steps is a part of Eckemoff’s evolution, the pianist playing to her strengths with conviction and great ability. To her credit, she looks forward in choosing musical company that can move her along without discarding the equity she has built over the years. Eckemoff has always incorporated the principles of progression in her compositions and, with Flying Steps, she does so with her thematic presentation.
Pianist Eckemoff has plenty of room to allow her instrument to roam in this trio setup, so much so that the ancillary double-bassist and drummer often seem to disappear in these romantic, reflective doodles. …I do plan to get to know this genial record better when there’s nothing pressing.