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Matija Dedić: Dedication

Dan McClenaghan By

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Croatian pianist Matija Dedić opens his Dedicated with the extraordinarily lovely and wistful "Symphoetetic Waltz." Saxophonist  Chris Cheek's sweet saxophone floats like an angel over this chamber jazz esthetic. Pianist Dedic tells this—and all of the stories on the disc—with a crystal clear clarity. Upping the chamber jazz mood, cellist Noah Hoffeld enters on "His Visit" stringing out long elastic lines that absorb the low end throbs of Johannes Weidmueller's bass, while the leader's piano separates the tale into succinct chapters that seem to explore the minutiae of the "visit" in question.

The two tunes, both Dedic-penned, open the set with a gorgeous atmosphere that doesn't let up. Dedicated is a tribute to Dedic's late father, Arsen Dedic, a Croatian singer/composer who set his son on a journey in jazz via a gift of Keith Jarrett's (ECM Records, 1975  ), an inspiration for many.

Poignant an unfailingly reflective and reverential—a mood only slightly broken with "Alfmazur,"  a tune given a jazzier treatment, with the inclusion of drums—Dedicated showcases Dedic at the height of his compositional, pianistic and conceptual powers. In my review of his MD In NYC (Origin Records, 2011), I compared his artistry to Herbie Hancock and Bill Evans. With Dedicated he seems comparable to no one but himself. His voice is fully formed, and is distinctly his own. A more beautiful and heartfelt son-to-father homage would be hard to find.

Track Listing: Symphoaetetic Waltz; His Visit; Return From The Island; Children's Song; Afmazur; South Song; Furgotta; The Meaning Of The Blues.

Personnel: Matija Dedic: piano; Noah Hoffeld: cello; Chris Cheek: tenor saxophone; Johnathan Blake: drums (5); Jure Puki: soprano saxophone (5); Johannes Weidenmueller: bass (5)

Title: Dedication | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: Ears And Eyes Records

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