Yelena Eckemoff Quintet – A Touch Of Radiance (2014) [HDTracks FLAC 24bit/44,1kHz]

Yelena Eckemoff Quintet – A Touch Of Radiance (2014)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/44,1 kHz | Time – 1:09:30 minutes | 759 MB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks | Booklet, Front Cover | © L & H Production

Pianist/composer Yelena Eckemoff defines radiance as “a state of happiness or confidence when everything around you is shining”. On her 2014’s album, “A Touch of Radiance”, she explores that idea from 10 different perspectives, drawing rich inspiration from memories, emotions, and dreams, and the inner world where all three intersect. Her quintet here’s Mark Turner, Joe Locke, George Mraz & Billy Hart. These four gifted artists respond gorgeously to Eckemoff’s music, wringing bold colors and deep feeling from pieces that are both airy and intricate.

Proof that Russian pianist Yelena Eckemoff is an extraordinary composer is evident from the phenomenal musicians she was able to recruit for her first-ever collection of original music for quintet. The august rhythm tandem of drummer Billy Hart and bassist George Mraz is at once piquant and complementary. What Joe Locke spools out on vibes has the tensile strength and gossamer shimmer of a spider’s web. And Mark Turner is among the most lyrical tenor saxophonists to come to prominence in the last 20 years. This sublime cast gilds the dovetailing geometry and clean aesthetics of Eckemoff’s compositions. Despite their interior intricacy, the 10 pieces flow with smooth economy, clearly favoring through-composition to jazz improvisation (ironically, Hart seems the most adventurous band member). And although the titles connote new-age ethereality, and each song is accompanied by prose in the liner notes relating to an aspect of Eckemoff’s biography, nothing in the music feels overly precious. Nevertheless, the way Eckemoff has broadened her compositional palette for trio to utilize the vibes of Locke and the sax of Turner will delight her fans and perhaps foreshadows a further expansion into mini-symphonic works-at her best, there are gentle reminders of the Romantic lyricism of Rachmaninoff here. There are also triumphant moments of understatement, as in the way Hart and Mraz burnish “Exuberance.” While it’s hard not to wonder what this quintet could have done with a little more freedom, the allure of Eckemoff’s compositions and her ace recruitments skills yield enduring dividends.

01 – Inspiration
02 – Reminiscence
03 – Exuberance
04 – Affection
05 – Pep
06 – Imagination
07 – Reconciliation
08 – Tranquility
09 – Encouragement
10 – Radiance

Yelena Eckemoff – piano
Mark Turner – tenor saxophone
Joe Locke – vibes
George Mraz – bass
Billy Hart – drums