A NOTE TO READERS: I cover a lot of items in this column and it is only a fraction of what crosses my desk. I choose to only write about things that I find of interest, usually that is due to quality of music but not always. You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Mail received is subject to editing and may be included in the next column at my discretion. If you do not want your correspondence printed please let us know. Cheers, rdr.
YELENA ECKEMOFF [p] has been putting concept albums out since 2009 at a rate of a little more than one a year. Her latest concept is the Arabian Desert which she imagines on DESERT [L&H Production cd806151-27]. This 12/8&9/15 session brings together a quartet [Paul McCandless-reeds, Arild Andersen-b, Peter Erskine-drm]. The Arabic sense is provided mostly by Erskine’s excellent off beat drumming. Much of the 11 originals [74:30] here have an ECM-ish sound while Eckemoff’s piano work, in its structure, reflects her classical background. McCandless and Andersen keep the flow and held my interest in the music. It’s not foot tapping but it is emotive and pretty.