Martin Z. Kasdan, Jr. for LEO Weekly
From the silence opening first track “Melting Ice” through the closing notes of closer “March Rain,” pianist/composer Yelena Eckemoff takes an aural odyssey through winter and the first hint of spring. Bassist Arild Andersen and drummer Peter Erskine provide sensitive accompaniment throughout, playing with subtlety and grace. The 10 original compositions are mostly slow-moving and delicate; the mid-tempo “Dripping Icicles” and “March Rain” sound like mad musical dashes by comparison. Andersen, best known for decades of primarily ECM recordings, is given ample opportunity to display his melodic playing, as on “Whistle Song,” where piano basslines give way to his pizzicato improvisations. Erskine is the model of restraint, with subtle accents on the haunting title song. Eckemoff has written poetry to accompany the songs, complementing the often-fragile compositions, but her pianistic poetry eloquently captures her reflections on nature.