The pianist Yelena Eckemoff, whom I have already presented several times with her CDs in my programs, was born and grew up in Moscow, but emigrated with her family to North Carolina many years ago and knows deserts only from books. But if you think that Yelena Eckemoff is not directly exposed to the Bedouins, that sand dunes and dust storms keep them from recording a work that causes these things, then you do not know the power of the imagination of this pianist + composer. Of course, Yelena Eckemoff is strongly influenced by her Russian soul, but with her modern, sometimes permissive approach and the weight and intensity of her music, she and her music are strikingly original. “Desert” captures the Arabian Desert in all its mysterious and natural charm not only with its 11 thematically related compositions, but also with original poems, prose and (as she often offers) a brilliant album art. On “Desert”, Yelena Eckemoff plays with three outstanding musicians in the jazz scene, namely Paul McCandless on oboe, English horn, soprano saxophone + bass clarinet, Arild Andersen double bass, and Peter Erskine drums.