Throughout the entire album, Potter, Rogers, Gress and Cleaver play as if they’ve been with Eckemoff for years. And the existing chemistry shared between them drives Eckemoff to heights she has rarely before reached. Fans of her prior recordings will still find plenty to love. Still, at the same time, just as Eckemoff is challenged, with each and every recording, to raise her game and broaden her purview, so, too, will fans of the pianist/composer find themselves opening up to the greater possibilities, the more unequivocal spontaneity and unexpected fire of In the Shadow of a Cloud…Eckemoff’s most eminently impressive release to date.
In the Shadow of a Cloud
Pianist and composer Yelena Eckemoff continues to release impressive material that is both melodic and adventurous. This time she releases a double album worth of material with the flexible and sensitive team of Adam Rogers/g, Drew Gress/b, Gerald Cleaver/dr and Chris Potter, who brings a wide palate of woodwinds. ..Is she ever coming to the West Coast?
The double disc maintains its cohesiveness by means of fusing jazz and classical sensitivity with a great balance, and of course the amazing band Eckemoff has compiled, but in this case, they are inspired by the uniqueness of the compositions, which are sophisticated, full of developed themes that weave through various feels and permutations. There are moments of classical chamber music lyricism and moments of more jazzier swinging improvisations. In the Shadow of a Cloud exemplifies the musical images that can be evoked by the fusion of styles, captivating the energy and spontaneity of jazz with the elegant forms and melodic development of classical music, though the music is complicated and cerebral at times, it is fresh enough to ensure the attention of the jazz music lover. Well done throughout.
While others like her are said to “blur the (artificial) lines between the two musical styles, Miss Eckemoff actually blurs the musics themselves – as if in an agitating beaker containing both in liquefied form. And it is this ceaseless agitating action that Yelena Eckemoff creates music that is quite singular unto herself and no other musician. ..Yelena Eckemoff appeared full formed, ever since her very first recording; a creative time-bomb, primed and awaiting activation as if by the first bars of each of her compositions that she plays.
Eckemoff sheds her skin once again and comes in with a classic, ECM worthy date that finds her mixing angular jazz with left leaning impressionism aided by a crew of experienced New Yorkers that know how to deliver this sound and vision. This is the sound of her memories of days gone by, spread over two discs with some improv aces that know how to sound like she feels. Certainly something different and out of the ordinary.