by Geannine Reid
Russian pianist Yelena Eckemoff has long been adored by the ECM follower, her working relationships with many likeminded artists such artists as Peter Erskine and, more recently, Marilyn Mazur with her latest endeavor, FORGET-me-NOT, which delightfully features Tord Gustavsen recruit Mats Eilertsen on bass, rounds out the trio perfectly. Sonically pastoral beauty that delights the senses and evokes the listener in an engaged journey beyond can be found throughout this phenomenal release.
From the ethereal mood of “Resurrection of a Dream” it is evident that Eckemoff has crafted a distinctive marker in her vast recording discography. Set to a milieu of expressive percussion and arco textures, Eckemoff traverses the listener through a canvas of beautiful harmonic colors with liberated pianism. Mazur underpins with cymbals in a flurried but cohesive accompaniment to Eilertsen focused yet perceptive, soloing. The beauty of the opening cut sets the thematic journey through the many landscapes, creating an atmospheric troposphere that is intoxicating. The methodical “Sand-Glass” further gives the listener and opportunity to additionally taste the flavors offered with this well-honed offering. As the CD continues an engaging rhythmic delight “Five” comes in literally at the halfway mark, which creates an emotional release along the midway point of the release.
Rooted in classical music, Eckemoff shines on “Schubert’s Code.” Coded with nineteenth century, adornment it shimmers with dexterity and spark, once again pulling the listener deeper into the overall message of Eckmoff’s outstanding compositional skills. “Quasi Sonata,” in contrast has a more historical overtone, though still unique in delivery and concept.
“Welcome a New Day,” brings into view a complex, yet uplifting experience, and is a befitting ending to the overall experience.
FORGET-me-NOT is a captivating listen, which takes you beyond the usual jazz CD, a deeper musical message and an introspective appreciation for oneself through Eckmoff’s music. You cannot help but reflect and enjoy as you listen along. Eckemoff’s ability to transport the listener beyond their own boundaries is what we all look for in music. Clearly, Eckemoff has given the listener a chance to experience this opportunity through her expressive ideas and outstanding personnel choice. Mazur and Eilertsen create the circle of a perfect trio. The sound is symbiotic, expressive and meaningful. Don’t miss the opportunity to be introduced to Eckemoff through any of her current or previous releases and experience the becoming of a true master in the making.