LONELY MAN AND HIS FISH [L&H cd806151-34] by pianist/composer YELENA ECKEMOFF features the playing of Kirk Knuffke [cornet], Masaru Koga [flts], Ben Street [b] and Eric Harland [dms/perc]. This is an ambitious two CD set that musically tells a fanciful and engaging story. Beyond the music, the disc comes with a 32-page booklet offering photos, artwork and the complete text of the story.
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YELENA ECKEMOFF [p] has been putting concept albums out since 2009 at a rate of a little more than one a year. Her latest concept is the Arabian Desert which she imagines on DESERT [L&H Production cd806151-27]. This 12/8&9/15 session brings together a quartet [Paul McCandless-reeds, Arild Andersen-b, Peter Erskine-drm]. The Arabic sense is provided mostly by Erskine’s excellent off beat drumming. Much of the 11 originals [74:30] here have an ECM-ish sound while Eckemoff’s piano work, in its structure, reflects her classical background. McCandless and Andersen keep the flow and held my interest in the music. It’s not foot tapping but it is emotive and pretty.