Guitarist Rale Micic, who was born and raised in Belgrade, Serbia, moved to the United States after receiving a scholarship from the Berklee College of Music. He later made New York his base. Micic has recorded three CDs for CTA Records. The first, Bridges
(2003), featured a quintet that included trumpeter Tom Harrell
, followed by the quartet date, Serbia
(2006). For his third venture 3
which stands for "rhythm, harmony and melody"Micic has pared his band down to a trio. Drummer Gregory Hutchinson returns from Serbia
, while bassist Sean Conly, from the guitarist's first two records, is replaced by Scott Colley
Micic is a sensitive player who spins tales of delicate enticement melding Serbian melodies and jazz harmony. He plays with deliberate ease, letting the rhythm flow smoothly before he enunciates it with emphatic chords. But there is more, as he swerves out of linear development to add swing, bop and, in the case of "Serbology," an extended skein of Serbian music and rhythm. Micic underpins the momentum with a breezy pulse, adding just a sprinkling of bebop for extra flavor. Hutchinson and Colley are empathic, with Hutchinson riding out to add an occasional daub of color. The beat is given added dimension and texture by the drum work of special guests Uros Markovic on tapan and Aleksandar Jovanovic on tarabuka.
It is hard to argue with the well-delineated thematic exposition of "I Love You." Starting off quietly, the guitar's shimmering lines jump into a buoyant pulse after a conversation with Colley. The earlier mood has been effectively transposed, the stylistic move quiet simply delightful.
Micic serves his inspired and irresistible compositions with flair and an accomplished approach to give this CD a lyrical and highly satisfying presence.
Personnel: Rale Micic: guitar; Scott Colley: bass; Gregory Hutchinson: drums; Uros Markovic: tapan; Aleksandar Jovanovic: tarabuka.