Modern Jazz
35 - 01915128
Modern Jazz
35 - 01915128

Better Than Gold and Silver


The only real surprise at this stage in Yelena Eckemoff’s unique, super-prolific career would be if the Russian-born pianist-composer made new music that didn’t surprise.

But even by that standard, Yelena Eckemoff’s double album, Better Than Gold and Silver, on which she sets biblical psalms to music, is an amazement: Each disc of Better Than Gold and Silver consists of ten selections, presented in identical order. The first disc features Eckemoff with vocalists, the second disc consists of instrumental versions by the same ensemble, different takes with longer solos in which the vocal lines are given to the various instruments. The gorgeous clarion tone of Alessi’s trumpet spreads joy through a “songs without words” approach. Floating on Eckemoff’s glistening lyricism at the piano, which draws from her classical training as well as jazz, blues, gospel, and pop, the music is remarkably open and lit from within, seemingly inspired by Psalm 119: Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.

Though Eckemoff has long played religious music in church, she says: My musical settings of the Biblical Psalms do not belong to the oeuvre of Christian music. It is rather a work of modern jazz.


Yelena Eckemoff - Piano

Tomás Cruz - Tenor

Kim Mayo - mezzo-soprano

Ralph Alessi – Trumpet

Ben Monder – Gitarre

Christian Howes – Violine

Drew Gress – Bass

Joey Baron - Drums

  • Psalm 131 Vocal
  • Psalm 119 Teth Vocal
  • Psalm 119 Nun Vocal
  • Psalm 110 Vocal
  • Psalm 119 Lamed Vocal
  • Psalm 126 Vocal
  • Psalm 58 Vocal
  • Psalm 119 Jod Vocal
  • Psalm 119 Zain Vocal
  • Psalm 147 Vocal
  • Psalm 131 Instrumental
  • Psalm 119 Teth Instrumental
  • Psalm 119 Nun Instrumental
  • Psalm 110 Instrumental
  • Psalm 119 Lamed Instrumental
  • Psalm 126 Instrumental
  • Psalm 58 Instrumental
  • Psalm 119 Jod Instrumental
  • Psalm 119 Zain Instrumental
  • Psalm 147 Instrumental