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Rale Micic: Serbia (2006)

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Rale Micic: Serbia How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

With his program of nine originals and one traditional Serbian folk song, guitarist Rale Micic paints jazz's modern mainstream with a palette of beautiful colors. His guitar, along with trumpet and tenor saxophone, provides a warm reflection that allows the listener to settle in comfortably for an extended study session. Like all true art, his compositions and the quintet's interpretations leave plenty of room for his audience to explore. His pieces contain variety and an adventuresome sense of swing.

Originally from Belgrade, Serbia, Micic moved to the United States in 1995 to study at the Berklee College of Music in Boston. He lives in New York now and appears to be comfortably immersed in the city's modern jazz scene. Micic's electric and nylon-string guitars allow him to interpret his music with convincing authority. Sean Conly's "Far From Home comes with a built-in longing that stretches out placidly. Both bassist and guitarist interpret this one with emotions bared. Micic's "Lucky Number rambles on the other side of the spectrum with a hip ensemble sound that sparkles enthusiastically.

Tom Harrell's trumpet and Micic's guitar give "Together a delicate fragility that connotes a deep love for its theme. The members of the quintet interpret this one with hearts worn on their shirtsleeves. Serbia, a moody tone poem in 7/8 meter, reflects the Eastern European flavor that Micic grew up with. Through this closing number, he's able to capture the true spirit.

The New York jazz scene, and by extension jazz's modern mainstream, has Rale Micic to thank for a portion of its continued growth. Of the many directions available in modern jazz, he's chosen one of the most wholesome for his expressive pursuits.

Track Listing: Dimitrije, Sine Mitre; Song for Alma; Through the Night; Lucky Number; Far from Home; Together; Blessing; By Your Side; Happiness; Serbia.

Personnel: Rale Micic: guitar; Tom Harrell: trumpet, flugelhorn; Bob Reynolds: tenor saxophone; Sean Conly: acoustic bass; Gregory Hutchinson: drums.

Record Label: CTA Records

Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


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