Stephen Duff, Radio Adelaide

Colors is the latest release from pianist Yelena Eckemoff accompanied by drummer Manu Katche. The past few years have seen Yelena become a prolific jazz artist recording on her own label L+ H Production. Yelena has recorded with the cream of jazz musicians. Manu Katche continues this tradition having recorded with Peter Gabriel and Dire Straits and as a leader in his own right.

Colors is loosely based concept album exploring the life cycle from birth to death. The ruminative first track White represents birth as a new born child, a blank canvas waiting written on by life’s experiences. Orange has an edgy groove with a gospel tinge bursting with the energy and excitement of childhood. Violet is a quiet meditation on the thrill and rush of first love. Manu lays down a solid beat for the very funky Indigo for the stormy years of adolescence and lost loves. Blue oscillates between introspection and a quick joyful canter and back again representing the excitement and anxiety of pregnancy and birth. The album ends with the slightly dissonant track Black representing the end of life.

Yelena implores us that music is an experiential relationship between listener and her vinyl or CD releases.  Yelena’s music stimulates the mind, body and soul both through her compositions, artwork and self- penned poetry. Music to be enjoyed beyond the limited trend of streaming. Yelena is a genre defying musician blending her classical roots with jazz influences to create her own sound. Colors is possibly Yelena’s finest release so far whether laying down a solid groove or being playfully introspective she is ably supported by the fine drumming of Manu Katche.