John Barron for Jazz World

The classically-trained Russian pianist Yelena Eckemoff has released a series of critically acclaimed jazz trio recordings with the likes of bassist Mads Vinding and drummer Peter Erskine. Her latest effort, Forget-me-Not, is an exploration of the pianist’s imaginative compositional style with spirited group interplay. Bassist Mats Eilertsen and drummer Marilyn Mazur are both equal contributors to the music’s open-ended direction. From the light swirls of sound on the opening track “Resurrection of a Dream” to the trodden harmonic movement of the poignant closing ballad “Welcome a New Day,” Eckemoff puts forth convincing themes with ample space for bass and drums to fill in the cracks with unhindered expression. The pianist’s technical prowess is evident without ever being overbearing. As heard on the title track, she has a tendency to be sly, even within an approach to line shaping that is resolute. “Sand Glass” is an example of a more thoroughly composed piece, maintaining a jazzy aesthetic. Such a prescribed direction is a nice contrast to some of the more free form moments heard on the disc. Eckemoff’s approach to the traditional piano trio is fresh and appealing.