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Jazz Articles

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Yelena Eckemoff Quartet: Leaving Everything Behind

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Pianist/composer Yelena Eckemoff has restlessly explored a new theme with each new album, with a shifting group of musicians. The central event behind the album title Leaving Everything Behind was her departure from the Soviet Union in 1991. She and her husband came to the United States to start a new life, having literally left everything behind--even their children, left indefinitely with Eckemoff's parents until the couple could get established. To explore this theme she returned to older original material, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Yelena Eckemoff Quartet: Leaving Everything Behind

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With all of the worldwide hue and cry concerning immigration, precious little is said about the lives of immigrants themselves, the sacrifices they've made and the risks they've taken in order to start their lives anew; free of whatever hardships and oppression they endured in their native country. In the news, entire lives are boiled down to reports of another capsized boat in the Mediterranean, or another truckload of hopeful souls stopped at the border. Even those who immigrate legally ...

CATCHING UP WITH

Yelena Eckemoff: Growing Into Jazz

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Pianist/composer Yelena Eckemoff goes her own way. Since the 2010 release of Cold Sun on her own L&H Production label, she has produced a series of jazz recordings, all presenting original music, with an impressive array of renowned contemporary musicians. Our conversation mainly dealt with her recording career: making connections with other musicians, composing, and working in the studio as performer and producer. All About Jazz: When All About Jazz ran a Take Five article on you back ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Yelena Eckemoff Quartet: Everblue

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In a quick follow-up to her masterful two CD set Lions, Russian-born and now North Carolina-based pianist Yelena Eckemoff offers up Everblue, the most “ECM Records-sounding" set not on that deservedly esteemed label. It is, rather, released on her own L&H Productions. The names of the sidemen on the date explain in part the ECM-like sound: saxophonist Tore Brunborg, bassist Arild Andersen, and drummer Jon Christensen, the Norwegian contingent, are all long time ECM Records artists, as leaders ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Yelena Eckemoff Trio: Lions

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Yelena Eckemoff has a lot to say artistically. The Russian-born, classically-trained pianist--now home-based in North Carolina--has released eight jazz albums in the past nine years, sets that are packed to the digital rafters with close to the time limit for the CD format--in the 70-plus minute range. For Lions, the ideas spilled over onto two CDs, a ninety-four minutes of music that is--according to the set's drummer, Billy Hart--prophetic. Eckemoff has a way of working with themes, with ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Yelena Eckemoff: A Touch of Radiance

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It's fulfilling to hear an artist evolve. In this regard, Yelena Eckemoff has heeded callings definable only by the language of the spirit. The Russian-born pianist and composer comes from a rigorous classical background, and within those parameters has shaped a quiet yet assured corpus of jazz albums stretching back to 2006's The Call. Since then she has assembled numerous ad hoc bands, caressing ebonies and ivories alongside Arild Andersen, Marilyn Mazur, Peter Erskine, and many other established names in ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Yelena Eckemoff: A Touch of Radiance

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Trained in an intensive ten-year classical piano program at Moscow's Gnessins School, and after quietly making records for over two decades, Russian native Yelena Eckemoff has been transitioning to a form of hybrid, classically informed improvisation with some exceptional results. 2010's Cold Sun, a trio featuring the exquisite drumming of Peter Erskine, was a tremendous musical statement for a leader making an early foray into improvisation and a record that is well worth seeking out to this day.

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Yelena Eckemoff: Glass Song

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Pianist Yelena Eckemoff is refreshing. She has carved a niche for herself with an eye constantly trained to still newer paths. “Once I finish a project, I'm already thinking of the next one," she says, during a phone interview. But let us linger on Glass Song, before being swept away again. The album offers a set of 10 originals that finds the Russian-born pianist/composer in the company of none other than bassist Arild Andersen and drummer Peter Erskine. Astonishingly, this ...


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