H. Allen Williams for Jazz Times
Russian born pianist Yelena Eckemoff’s latest offering Forget-me-Not is a jazz and classically infused exploration of beauty, textures and improvisational genius. The interactive chemistry between Yelena, bassist Mats Eilertsen, and drummer Marilyn Mazur is clear from the first lustrous passages. Eckemoff’s compositions offer a journey of introspection, exploration and emotional intelligence. One cannot help but be profoundly moved by hearing her approach and ideas. Though classically influenced in nature, each composition is entrenched in the modern jazz idiom. With a vast discography, that includes some of the leading figures in jazz today, Eckemoff has clearly established herself as a top ranking composer. The question is no longer whether she can be considered in the ranks of top composers; it is now how far her musical journey will take her. I was fortunate enough to have a chance to interview this significant composer and delve into some of her processes and background.