There’s a rare delicacy to this luminous, ECM-ish piano-trio outing that features the remarkably sensitive rhythm duo of bassist Darek Oles and drummer Peter Erskine. All the material here was composed by the prolific, classically trained Moscow native Yelena Eckemoff, who characteristically prefers tinkling arpeggios to all-out swing and tends toward the new-agey end of the spectrum. Among the real gems are “Promise,” “A Smile,” the sparse “Isolated” and poignant “Mama,” all underscored by Oles’ graceful, woody tones and Erskine’s painterly approach to the kit. Drum fans will revel in Erskine’s choices throughout this keenly interactive offering.
Upon listening to Grass Catching the Wind ’s spacious, opening track, “Anticipation of Spring,” you might be tempted to categorize Yelena Eckemoff as Russia’s answer to George Winston. But then the sensitive Danish rhythm tandem of bassist Mads Vinding and drummer Morten Lund enters the picture to provide some conversational push-and-pull beneath all that infernal tinkling. Advocates claim Eckemoff is creating a new genre—classical world improv. (I prefer to think of it as doily jazz.) The trio does generate some nice interaction on “Rain Streams” and “Somebody Likes Jogging,” the pensive title track and the ECM-ish “Summer Heat,” the classically flavored “Overcast” and “Sonnet for the Flowers,” but a little of this hyper-delicate stuff goes a long way.