In twenty years as leader, pianist/composer Bojan Z has been judicious with the frequency and quality of his releases. Soul Shelter is his ninth CD in that time, and his first solo outing since Solobsession (Label Bleu, 2001). A new release by the pianist is always an event, and the wait, as always, has been worth it. The music on Soul Shelter covers wide stylistic territory and marks another significant milestone in Z's captivating career to date. Ten of the eleven compositions are originals, and this marks the biggest shift from Solobssession, where almost half the tracks were ...read more
Humus is the first album from the Bojan Z Tetraband and it's as intriguing as might be expected from such an original and inspired set of musicians. Led by keyboard player Bojan Zulfikarpasic--born in Belgrade in the former Yugoslavia and now resident in France--the band is tight, energetic and powerful despite the fact that the lineup only came together a few months before the April 2008 recording session. The album has been described by Z as the most 'rock' album I could record" and by its accompanying press release as a kind of punk jazz-funk," but neither description does justice ...read more
The rocket fuelled, electro-acoustic Tetraband quartet began life as a trio pianist Bojan Zulfikarpasic formed with drummer Sebastian Rochford and electric bassist Ruth Goller in 2007. Paris-based Z grew up in what was then Yugoslavia, and the Balkans' dance rhythms have long been a feature of his playing. On tour in Europe, Rochford and Goller, both members of British punk-jazz iconoclast Acoustic Ladyland, brought a heat and groove to the music which perfectly matched Z's passionate double-fisted style. With the addition of New York-based trombonist Josh Roseman, the trio became Tetraband and recorded Humus in France over three ...read more
Bojan Z Le Meridien Angkor Siem Reap, Cambodia June 25, 2006From the opening Algerique , with its joyous, dancing rhythms, to the encore, an exquisite, meditative version of Bowie's Ashes to Ashes , Bojan Z demonstrated why he was the juror's choice for European Jazz Artist of the year 2005. Simply put, he has few peers.He is not just another great technician either; he is a wonderful composer and a highly communicative musician. His songs are visual, almost cinematic in scope; his thundering left hand in Flashback created a Boris Karloff horror ...read more
Did a B-52 full of Fender Rhodes really crash near a small Serbian village a quarter of a century ago? What's a Steinway full of holes doing at a jazz festival? What is the connection between Jim Hall and the Dixie Chicks? And just who would pay $6,000 for a bottle of wine? European Jazz Artist of the Year 2005 and pianist extraordinaire Bojan Z has all the answers and in a candid interview talks about life and death (but mostly life), the paradoxes of American jazz, mediums, identity, the poor old CD and his latest recording Xenophonia (Label Bleu, ...read more
Bojan Z's latest release for Label Bleu is perhaps his most satisfying work to date, showcasing his considerable compositional skills whilst allowing equal representation to the fine musicians who excel throughout.
The opening track, Ulaz, is a definite highlight. Hypnotic drums, however gentle, with brushes and washing cymbals, a heavily plucked acoustic bass pulse, and a kaval (a Balkan flute) float ethereally in the background like some ancient spirit being evoked. It is not until a minute and forty seconds later that the splash of three piano notes arrives like the first drops of rain. A string of ...read more
This art of music has the virtue of being plural and boundless. Even so, its development has allowed the formation of certain well-fenced lots. For instance, people say that Coltrane's playing was a definite landmark that no sax player after him could beat. Equally, they say that Tatum, Powell, and Evans did the whole thing that can be done on piano. So if they listen, for example, to Mehldau, they compare him to Bill Evans, or, paraphrasing Mehldau's words, they set a thorn of comparison in his side.
It cannot be denied that jazz is an art of ...read more