“The Call” is Yelena Eckemoff’s second CD release this year and her
first recording of original music for acoustic piano ensemble.
Eckemoff’s twelfth album is perhaps her most mature and fully-realized
music to date. The quartet of musicians is comprised of Eckemoff on
piano, Gayle Masarie on cello, Deborah Egekvist on flute and bass
flute, and Michael Bolejack on drums. All four musicians have extensive
and impressive credentials and play extraordinarily well together.
Eckemoff was trained at the Moscow Conservatory and has a very rich
background in classical music, jazz, experimental jazz-rock, and
composition for various instruments and voice. All of those influences
can be found in this music, making it very difficult to classify - a
good thing! While not necessarily for the casual listener, Eckemoff’s
music is complex enough to satisfy the seasoned classical music lover
and accessible enough for those dabbling in art-music. Several of the
eighteen pieces are more jazz-oriented than classical, so it’s a
The music for “The Call” was composed over a one-year period and varies
widely in style and approach. Always full of emotion, some of the
pieces are dark and mournful while others are joyful and full of
energy. My favorite track is the title track, which opens the CD.
Effectively conveying a real mix of emotions, this piece is mysterious,
triumphant, dreamy, rhythmic, energetic, peaceful, and gorgeous. It
swirls and dances, sparkles and glides, marches ahead and reflects
back. It’s amazing that one piece of music can say so many things in 4
1/2 minutes without seeming fragmented or disorganized. Brilliant!
“Daisy” is a beautiful and deeply-felt piece composed when Eckemoff’s
beloved dog died unexpectedly. Full of love, sorrow, and happy
memories, it will touch anyone who has experienced this kind of
wrenching loss. “Sunny Day In the Woods” has a warm, serene mood and a
feeling of freedom. “Suspicion” is another favorite. It begins gently
and innocently, but a questioning feeling soon develops and then
agitation. The piece builds momentum as the torment increases, pulls
back a bit and questions more rationally and hopefully until doubt
starts to take over and the intensity returns. This piece tells quite a
story! “Forgotten Perfume” is a lovely daydream set to music.
“Temptation” is dark and agitated, being pulled in two directions. Very
effective! “Garden In May” is warm, graceful, and enchanting. “My Cozy
Bed” is, well, cozy! The flute and cello create a dreamlike mood that
becomes more intense and dramatic, melting back into the original
theme. “Imaginary Lake” closes the CD with a more experimental piece
that evokes a lot of visuals - placid water, birds flying, fish
jumping, leaves fluttering. At almost eight minutes, it evolves
naturally and peacefully - another very beautiful piece!
“The Call” is quite an achievement for Yelena Eckemoff. She is planning
concerts with the ensemble - something to look forward to! Highly recommended for the serious music fan.
by Kathy Parsons reprinted from Mainly