Johnny Torrino for Amazon.com
Title: Yelena’s “Everblue” is Pure Gold
Once again Yelena has given us a refuge – an interlude to our often hectic and tedious days. Just taking some time to sit back and soak in “Everblue”, whether you’re just resting in the park or you are jamming toward a deadline. It will at once raise your spirits and relax you through the rest of the day, as you’ll need only to remember the melody of even one song to bring back the entire experience.
With “Everblue” we find Yelena taking yet another turn in the road, a change from her trio works and also from the more densely populated “Lions”, a work of musical pleasure in its own right. Adding Tore Brunborg on sax brings a nice flavor, a very good melding with the cohesion of Yelena, Arild and Jon.
Some special moments for me include the lively interplay between Yelena and Tore in the fun “Waves and Shells”, giving a wonderful call and answer effect. This segues into the more romantic flow of “Skyline”, a seductive number showcasing the entire quartet. Skipping down to “Abyss”, you instantly feel the reason for the title. With Andersen’s bass at the forefront, and as Tore edges in on sax, and Yelena comes full on with her piano you are visualizing the emergence from an abyss, a rising from the very deep to a bright, sunlit place. On “Everblue’, Yelena and Tore float along like the ocean depicted on the cover of the record. Arild comes in and grabs you at 3:49 and solidly holds sway for a gripping pull as you melt into the rest of the song. In “All That Is, Seen and Unseen” one cannot help but marvel at what I can only call the decorative cymbal work behind the rhythm of Yelena’s piano and Arild’s double bass.
While what I’ve said, every feeling that I’ve listed, it is all the result of the sidemen having the pleasure of reading Yelena’s compositions. They also have their well deserved times where they come forth and shine, but the strength and lineage of each number comes from Yelena’s pen and piano. Her playing on this album in exemplary, showing intricacy and detail. Her melodies are spot on, as we have come to look forward to from her. In short, this is a top-notch effort by one of the very best in the biz. And to experience in it’s full glory, don’t just stream and listen to it – buy the hi-rez downloads or the hard media and live it.