Lee and J.J. MacFadden for Bristol Herald Courier
Born and raised in Moscow, Russia, Eckemoff began playing the piano by age 4, and at the age of 7, she began attending a Gnessins 10-year school for musically gifted children. She studied with Anna Pavlovna Kantor (who trained renowned pianist Evgeny Kissin) as well as Galina Nikolaevna Egiazarova; her studies were extensive. In 1991, Eckemoff started living permanently in the United States, where she continued playing concerts and composing music.
She sits at the piano with pencil and paper to compose, improvising as she goes. With a background in classical style and further studies in rock, jazz, and world music, Eckemoff has joined her talents on this CD with Mads Vinding (double-bass) and Peter Erskine (drums). Eckemoff reveals her love of nature on this album with an in-depth look at winter, which she captures in many facets.
The title song, which ends hauntingly, is a good introduction to “After Blizzard,” while the brilliant “Stubborn” puts Vinding’s double-bass to truly creative use. The less edgy “Romance by the Fireplace” is upbeat, even playful, a stark contrast to the ominous, moody “Silence” and the more cautious, sometimes capering dissonance of “Snow Bliss.”
— Street date for “Cold Sun” is Apr. 12. For more information, visit www.yelenamusic.com and click on “discography” for free MP3 samples of this and other CDs.