5.0 out of 5 stars 

Title: A Beautiful, Inspirational Bloom
Reviewed in the United States on May 24, 2021 

Here again, we have the compositional creativity and melodic mastery as always given to us by Yelena Eckemoff, and presented to us by Yelena and her always excellent selection of sidemen. This collection blooms for the listener from Ethereal to Avant Garde and even a touch of Fusion, all swirling around a core of pure, unfettered jazz.

The musical story presented here by Yelena is peaceful and fun, but it’s the music that just grabs you. The interplay between Yelena and her band is, as always, just top-notch. Her ability to connect with players of like minds and styles is uncanny. While one or two are at the fore, someone is always busy in the background with all sorts of intricacies. The vibraphonist (Panu Savolainen) puts forth his expertise steadily throughout the record, as does the reeds player (Jukka Perko). The often background, but steady and fascinating playing by guitarist (Jarmo Saari) keeps your ears glued to music. And as always the rhythmic core of bassist (Antili Lotjonen) and brilliant drummer (Olavi Louhivuori) keep things pushing forward with panache, elan and with perfect cohesion and force.

At least for this listener, the added bonus is how the story so matches my own here in Vermont. With the change of seasons, our having pollinator gardens that draw hummingbirds and butterflies, it really touches the hearts of my wife and me. As I play it I can see my dog out in the yard, indeed chasing a mouse (or chipmunk, squirrel, etc.), the constant activity of weeding and tending the garden, and just generally being one with nature. Just as when I play this album I feel as one with the music.

Another brilliant showing by Yelena and Co., destined to be one of the most significant albums of 2021.