Articles

Daily articles carefully curated by the All About Jazz staff. Read our popular and future articles.

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Album Review

Yelena Eckemoff: Adventures of the Wildflower

Read "Adventures of the Wildflower" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan


The seeds of pianist-composer Yelena Eckemoff's Adventures Of The Wildflower were planted in 2013, when she traveled to Hollola, Finland, to record Blooming Tall Phlox (L&H Productions, 2017) with a group of young Finnish musicians. Several Eckemoff albums came about after that recording, but the experience with her Finnish friends must have exerted a sort of gravitational pull, and in 2019 she made a return trip to the country to team with vibraphonist Panu Savolainen, bassist Antti Lotjonen and drummer ...

39

Album Review

Yelena Eckemoff: Desert

Read "Desert" reviewed by Mark Sullivan


Pianist/composer Yelena Eckemoff was born in Russia and in 2018 lives in North Carolina--neither location suggests a desert theme. But Eckemoff became fascinated by the Arabian Desert, producing not only music but also prose stories connecting the compositions to each other, as well as poetry and paintings (including the album's cover image). Her albums are usually organized around a theme. This one is unusual in having a musical style directly associated with it: so much of this program combines Arabic ...

44

Album Review

Yelena Eckemoff: Desert

Read "Desert" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan


Pianist Yelena Eckemoff's backstory doesn't suggest the potential for a rise to the category of top level jazz pianist. But here she is, after emigrating to the U.S. from Russia with her husband--leaving her children (temporarily) and everything else (permanently) behind in 1991 to escape repression and to start a new life. Classically trained in her homeland, Eckemoff came to jazz relatively late. With persistence, talent, ambition, audacity and a seemingly unshakable optimism, she has navigated her way to the ...

131

Album Review

Yelena Eckemoff: In The Shadow Of A Cloud

Read "In The Shadow Of A Cloud" reviewed by John Kelman


She may rarely perform live in this context, but Yelena Eckemoff has managed to build, over just seven years and a mammoth eleven releases--including her second release of 2017, In the Shadow of a Cloud--a loyal and growing following in the jazz world. It's all the more remarkable for a multi-talented expat Russian pianist who began life in the classical world, and only entered the jazz world in 2010 with Cold Sun. But there's even more to marvel ...

151

Album Review

Yelena Eckemoff: Blooming Tall Phlox

Read "Blooming Tall Phlox" reviewed by Mark Sullivan


You can look up the phlox flower online: there are 67 species, many of them fragrant. But none of the photographs or botanical classifications will tell you how it smells. For that we have pianist/composer Yelena Eckemoff's musical impressions here, along with a range of other smells recalled from her Russian childhood. When Eckemoff visited Finland and saw how much it reminded her of Russia she decided it was the best place to record an album about her Russian aroma ...

130

Album Review

Yelena Eckemoff: Blooming Tall Phlox

Read "Blooming Tall Phlox" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky


While the art of playing jazz qualifies as a multisensory experience, involving listening, touching, and seeing, it usually doesn't extend so far as to include the sense of smell. But that's not to say that a nose for scents has no place in musical and artistic spheres. If you need convincing, just look at Blooming Tall Phlox. For her tenth album in six years, pianist Yelena Eckemoff uses life and nature's bouquets as her muse. Her memory ...

205

Album Review

Yelena Eckemoff Quartet: Leaving Everything Behind

Read "Leaving Everything Behind" reviewed by Mark Sullivan


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, ...


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