Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

1

Alexander Balanescu / Zlatko Kaucic / Javier Girotto: East West Daydreams

Budd Kopman By

Sign in to view read count
East West Daydreams is one of those recordings that grabs one's attention immediately, only to be quickly and completely overwhelmed by the musicianship, drama and intensity of the music.

The trio of violinist Alexander Balanescu, percussionist Zlatko Kaucic and Javier Girotto on woodwinds have collected five live recordings from a number of years ago in cities all over Europe: Vienna, Austria at the Porgy & Bess Jazz Club (October 8, 2009), Florence, Italy at the Pinocchio Jazz Club (February 23, 2013), Ljubljana, Slovenia at the Cankar Center (February 19, 2013), Triest, Italy at Knulp (April 1, 2010) and Škofja Loka, Slovenia at the Castle Chapel (April 1, 2010). April 1, 2010 must have quite a day.

The performances are spread over two very full discs and range widely stylistically, with the SoundCloud click below giving a good idea of the mix. The venues are not that far away from each other and folk music is always below the surface; it might be called the music's central thread. Its sound is rarely overt, but rather it is infused throughout, even in the most sonic (as opposed to melodic) sections of a performance.

The B.K.G Trio, as they call themselves, is a collection of equals, with Kaucic providing melodic percussion support for the two front line instruments. However, it must be said that Balanescu is such a strong, precise and expressive player that he demands attention whenever he plays. Clearly classically trained, he breaks out into bravura performance of the opening of the Prelude to Partita No.3 BWV 1006 by J.S. Bach (see here by Hillary Hahn for an excellent performance). Perhaps it is Balanescu's style which gives the proceedings a classical feel that merges with that of folk music.

That Balanescu is so strong takes nothing away from Girotto, who stands toe to toe with him in terms of power and intensity. The two soloists also many times combine their separate parts into a unique sound, with Kaucic always adding to the mix. One such section can be spine-chillingly likened to Krzysztof Penderecki's Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima, but there also many softer, less dense and tender moments throughout.

Not all of the tracks include audience sounds or applause, and the trio produces a unique sound for each venue. Arguably, the highlight of the tracks are the three done in the Castle Chapel, where the large space with its natural echo seemed to produce an ecstatic response from the trio.

East West Daydreams is a feast for the ears, heart and mind. Not something to be missed.

Track Listing: CD 1: Porgy I; Porgy II; Pinocchio; Cankar I; Cankar II; CD 2: Knulp I; Knulp II; Knulp III; Chapel I; Chapel II; Chapel III.

Personnel: Alexander Balanescu: violin; Zlatko Kaucic: ground drums; Javier Girotto: woodwinds.

Title: East West Daydreams | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: Klopotec

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

Shop Music & Tickets

Click any of the store links below and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Read World Gardens CD/LP/Track Review
World Gardens
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: December 14, 2018
Read Henry II CD/LP/Track Review
Henry II
by Ian Patterson
Published: December 14, 2018
Read Conference Of The Mat/ts CD/LP/Track Review
Conference Of The Mat/ts
by Mark Corroto
Published: December 14, 2018
Read Hidden Treasures Vol. 1, Monday Nights CD/LP/Track Review
Hidden Treasures Vol. 1, Monday Nights
by Chris Mosey
Published: December 14, 2018
Read Âme Sèche CD/LP/Track Review
Âme Sèche
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 14, 2018
Read Fred Hersch Trio '97 @ The Village Vanguard CD/LP/Track Review
Fred Hersch Trio '97 @ The Village Vanguard
by Doug Collette
Published: December 13, 2018
Read "Parting the Veil" CD/LP/Track Review Parting the Veil
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: March 15, 2018
Read "Kanata" CD/LP/Track Review Kanata
by Chris Mosey
Published: May 5, 2018
Read "Oporo" CD/LP/Track Review Oporo
by James Fleming
Published: November 20, 2018
Read "Flying Heart" CD/LP/Track Review Flying Heart
by Troy Dostert
Published: January 23, 2018
Read "James Weldon Johnson: God's Trombones" CD/LP/Track Review James Weldon Johnson: God's Trombones
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: June 1, 2018
Read "Stringscapes: A Portrait of the World in Nylon & Steel" CD/LP/Track Review Stringscapes: A Portrait of the World in Nylon & Steel
by Geno Thackara
Published: October 11, 2018