Yelena Eckemoff is far from a household name but those who know, know that she makes some of the most melodic, imaginative music of any composer.

Pianist and composer Yelena Eckemoff’s 2023 Lonely Man and His Fish was one of the year’s most charming albums, a human-pet story set to music and covered on these pages. Her latest, Romance of the Moon, het twentieth album, may seem different on the surface as it is based on the poems of Spanish poet Federico Garcia Lorca, each of them spelled out in the accompanying booklet. She had written music inspired by Lorca early in her career but goes full in on this effort. Yet, this is not a recitation of poetry over music. It is purely instrumental, with the musicians rendering Eckemoff’s and to some extent their own interpretation of these poems. While the lead melodic voice on Lonely Man and His Fish was cornetist Kirk Knuffke, the leading voices here are renowned Italian trumpeter Paolo Fresu and colorful guitarist Riccardo Bertuzzi. Therein lies one similarity. The other is Eckemoff’s ability to musically translate words into sonic tapestries that convey visual images. She translated each of Lorca’s poems into Italian for the accompanying musicians so that they could help her realize her mission. The Italian ensemble is bassist Luca Bulgarelli, drummer Stefano Bagnoli, guitarist Bertuzzi, and the trumpeter Fresu. Also, the album stays true to the classically trained pianist’s bent to marry European classical music with jazz in these 13 pieces.