Gray Hunter for Blog Critics
A well balanced and focused jazz trio can create a superb ambiance. Yelena Eckemoff is using the trio format to capture the essence of seasons. Cold Sun was released last year and it reflected the bleakness of winter with icy, crystalline notes and reserved arrangements. She is exploring spring with and the compositions on Grass Catching the Wind are warmer, brighter. The trio has changed – slightly. Eckemoff is still at the piano and Mads Vinding is still the bassist; however, Morten Lund has replaced Peter Erskine on the drums for this consideration of the season following winter. They perform sublimely. Once the idea of spring was planted it was easy to hear it expressed in the music. “Anticipation of Spring” is the opener and the solitary notes of Eckemoff’s piano portray the sprouting of new grass and blossoms; you can hear the effects of hibernation wearing off. The song is like a fresh breath, the feeling of emergence is tangible. The bass lines capture the essence of yawning and creaking after a long sleep. Morten Lund’s drumming, especially his imitation of raindrops pattering on the cymbals combined with an occasional whack on the splash, add reality to the visions of “Rain Streams”, the second song. “Somebody Likes Jogging” and “Emerald World” bring out the playfulness of spring, Vinding’s bass briskly walking us through the warmth and joy of the season. The title song, “Grass Catching the Wind” is evocative of the that wind, light and peaceful, with Vinding’s bass providing the intro and outro. This quiet peace is followed by “Overcast” which is just a beautiful song that highlights Eckemoff’s depth on the piano. The CD ends with “Neverland” a quiet conclusion to this meditation on spring.