Goran Ivanovic Trio: Goran Ivanovic Trio

Budd Kopman By

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Virtuoso Serbian guitarist Goran Ivanovic has been busy performing, if not recording since the 2008 Folk Tales and the 2006 Goran Ivanovic Group, with the only subsequent album being the 2009 Guitar Duo with Andreas Kapsalis.

That void has been remedied with the very impressive Goran Ivanovic Trio, although listeners familiar with the first two recordings might miss the extra counterpoint of a second solo voice. Matt Ulery continues holding down the bass duties, but Peter Tashjian replaces Michael Caskey on drums/percussion. Folk Tales included cellist Michael Freilich and this recording lists guest cellist Ian Maksin.

It is easy to get lost in Ivanovic's technique, especially if one plays (or attempts to play) Classical style guitar, in a jazz style or not. Although wonders can now easily be performed in the recording process, there is not one hint of overdubbing, making the technical mastery all the more impressive.

Of course, the technique must serve the music, and examples of the trio's sound and cohesiveness can be seen here and here. Mesmerizing would not be too strong a word to use in describing the effect of this music. Yes, the Balkan influence is still present and pieces still have a folk music undertone, but at this point Ivanovic and company have transcended the label and each track is now just music which exudes confidence, finesse and yes, power. The melodic themes have a way of insinuating themselves into the mind.

"Maurice's Ragtime" is particularly impressive with its strong bass lines (many times played in unison by both guitar and bass), followed by the delightful "Tic Tac Toe," on which the cello plays a large role. "Patient Zero" is a dark and brooding piece, balanced by the beautiful guitar solo piece "Tomoko In Rain." The record ends with the powerful "Beleza," which highlights all of the individual player's and also the band's strengths.

Goran Ivanovic Trio is a tour de force and makes for a completely engrossing experience. Bravo!

Track Listing: Alvorada Americana; Maurice's Ragtime; Tic Tac Toe; Sick Puppy; Athina; Patient Zero; Tomoko In Rain; Querido Paco; Beleza.

Personnel: Goran Ivanovic: Classical guitar; Matt Ulery: electric bass; Pete Tashjian: drums, percussion; Ian Maksin: cello.

Title: Goran Ivanovic Trio | Year Released: 2016 | Record Label: Self Produced


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