257

Zvonimir Tot: Eloquent Silence

Matthew Warnock By

Sign in to view read count
Zvonimir Tot: Eloquent Silence Eloquent Silence is an introspective yet powerful album by Chicago guitar virtuoso Zvonimir Tot. The album features an all-star band including bassist Larry Gray, drummer Ernie Adams, saxophonist Mark Colby and brass specialist Orbert Davis. All of the tunes were composed and arranged by the multi-faceted guitarist and reflect Tot's diverse educational and performing background. Bouncing between hard-driving funk tunes, laid back ballads, rock-inspired grooves and Latin beats, Tot's compositions spin a web of musical eloquence that is both engaging and intellectually provocative.

Each tune on the album reflects a different side of Tot's compositional palette. While Tot is firmly based in the modern jazz tradition, he also borrows heavily from other genres including funk ("Bruce's Dilemma"), rock ("Mira's Do-Re-Mis") and bossa-nova ("Sub Rossa"). Drawing from these and other genres prevents the album from sounding like a typical guitar trio/quartet venture. With each change in mood, Tot exposes a new and exciting corner of his compositional influences. Without this textural diversity the album would not have reach the high level of creativity and musical expression that it does.

Tot is at his best through every melody, solo and accompaniment section on the album. From his playing on the title track, which moves between ECM-type melodic lines and hard-bop inspired phrases to his hard-driving, distorted guitar solo on "Mira's Do-Re-Mis," Tot's virtuosic chops and strong sense of melody shine throughout. With such a high command of the instrument Tot could have easily relied on his chops to get him through any/all of the solos on the album. Instead, he carefully interjects his lightening-fast runs between melodic phrases, which serves to enhance these technically impressive moments while not becoming too repetitive or overbearing.

Bassist Larry Gray and drummer Ernie Adams, both regulars on the Chicago jazz scene, shine on every tune. Gray's bowed bass solo on "Mira's Do-Re-Mis" is one of the CD's peaks in terms of creativity and virtuosity. Gray's fingers fly across the strings with such ease and cleanliness that the bow and his left hand sound as if they are one and the same. Adams brings a well-defined sense of groove and feel to the rhythm section that pushes each soloist to new levels of creativity. Apart from laying down some serious grooves, Adams' solos during the trading portions of "Message Received" lay right in the pocket and showcase the drummer's ability to step forward and take control of a solo when the time is right. .

Eloquent Silence is an entertaining jaunt through the myriad of Tot's musical influences and favorite genres. Though it was originally released through the Chicago Session subscription service, due to the popularity of the series' releases including this one, all of the labels titles are now readily available.


Track Listing: Bruce's Dilemma; Eloquent Silence; Sarabande Blue; Mira's Do-Re-Mis; Jurre; Hidden Truths; Sub Rossa; Babos; Message Received; Ingenuously Subjected.

Personnel: Zvonimir Tot: guitar; Larry Gray: bass; Ernie Adams: drums; Orbert Davis: trumpet, flugelhorn; Mark Colby: tenor saxophone; Julie Koidin: alto flute; Stefan Milenkovich: violin.

Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Chicago Sessions | Style: Modern Jazz


Related Video

Shop

More Articles

Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture CD/LP/Track Review The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Coldest Second Yesterday CD/LP/Track Review Coldest Second Yesterday
by John Sharpe
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Chicago II CD/LP/Track Review Chicago II
by Doug Collette
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Follow Your Heart CD/LP/Track Review Follow Your Heart
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read "Metamorphosis" CD/LP/Track Review Metamorphosis
by Jack Bowers
Published: April 26, 2016
Read "No Parking Any Time" CD/LP/Track Review No Parking Any Time
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: February 5, 2017
Read "Songs From Afar" CD/LP/Track Review Songs From Afar
by Budd Kopman
Published: March 11, 2016
Read "Blues Revival" CD/LP/Track Review Blues Revival
by James Nadal
Published: August 18, 2016
Read "Short Stories" CD/LP/Track Review Short Stories
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: November 3, 2016
Read "Tiresia" CD/LP/Track Review Tiresia
by Mark Corroto
Published: September 11, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!