Yelena Eckemoff is a conservatory-trained, Russian-born classical concert pianist who embraced Christianity, fled the Soviet Union and moved to North Carolina in the early 1990s. Cold Sun is a piano trio release from Eckemoff which focuses on impressions of winter scenes (a follow up – entitled Grass Catching the Wind is to be released soon as well). There is an ECM-feel to the pieces, which meld improvisation and composition, and classical and jazz elements intricately and seamlessly. The talented artist is aided by the strong presence of Grammy-winning Danish bassist Mads Vinding and veteran drummer Peter Erskine – both of whom are stellar in adding contributions to the pianist’s compositions. Erskine is more well-known perhaps for his big band work and fusion work with Weather Report, but here he displays a shimmering range of Motian-like sounds that sparkle like sunlight on snow. Some pieces (like the lovely and mysterious effervescent title track) float and hang like glistening snowflakes, while others (like “Stubborn”) trudge through snowdrifts with determination to survive. “Romance by the Fireplace” meanwhile, playfully hints at a tango. At times pleasant, at times chilly and bleak, but throughout – an engaging winter journey.
Yelena Eckemoff, an unknown large talent who has been living in Moscow, later exiled and continued to work on the path. This work is a masterpiece of piano trio work recorded in 2009. While welcoming Mads Vinding on the base and Peter Erskine on the drum, in Japan it is a work almost never known to anyone until now. Although the eyes tend to be luxurious of the members, it is supposed to be drawn into a performance that looks at the deep depth of Ms. Yelena’s piano, a profound world. For example, if you have eyes on ECM label works, you will feel a great surprise and joy in the quality of this work. A penetrating vision that spreads the delicate rhythm scape produced by Vininging & Erskine, the melody of piano made of fine particles will spread to the eyes. Jacket and title reminiscent of extreme cold, but music is reminiscent of a beautiful and fantastic scene like snow fluttering!
(translated from Japanese)