Title: Musical Explorations of Hues

**** Moscow State Conservatory-trained Yelena Eckemoff has entitled her newly released album “Colors” and I immediately thought of Ken Nordine’s own series of spoken jazz on his series of brief witticisms on hues. Eckemoff with drummer Manu Katché take on 14 colors (including black and white), and package notes have her poetic associations of each. That colors have innate psychological qualites beyond cultural references was recognized in ancient times by yoga masters and in modern times by painters Paul Klee and Wassily Kandinsky. Although raised in classical music, Eckemoff has an interest in rock and free jazz; thus these tracks are atmospheric and moody but with lyricism and stylistic complexity (‘orchestral color’ is another use of the term). The given colors are arranged to reflect life events from birth to death, with education, love, emotional dictates, and mature re-evaluations between. Some pieces are full of rhythmic energy (as Orange, Indigo, and Red) while others resemble shadowed classical etudes (Blue, Bordeaux, and Yellow); Green is interpreted as an amble; Brown is an autumn waltz. Each piece has many ever-changing subsections as separate associations and are similar to Keith Jarrett’s stream of consciousness concerts. Drummer Katché deserves particular attention as his ornamentation well matches the piano improvisations and increase interest. Listening to this 80-minute album is akin to a musical meditation on what the titled colors mean to the listener.