Serbian pianist and composer Maja Alvanovic's second release with her Majamisty TriO Love is a collection of ethereal dreamscapes that crackle with lively spontaneity. The dominant and unifying theme of the album is a sort of nostalgic impressionism with fluid, hazy sonic images filtered through the lens of memory and time.
The redolent "Rain Dots" evokes the warm, cozy indoor ambience of rainy afternoons. Alvanović's keys emulate the gentle pitter-patter of a drizzle that grows into a stormy downpour as percussionist Uros Secerov joins the ensemble. Vocalist Aleksandra Drobac enhances the mood with a dramatic flair. The trio's clever collective performance that closes the tune is as crisp and fresh as the air after a cleansing bout of precipitation.
This does not imply that, these superbly crafted, originals are merely superficial formalistic exercises. Each one brims with a deep sense of poetry and musical virtuosity. "Suddenly Japan" for instance features an exquisite interplay with Alavanović laying down sparse, contemplative phrases imbued with mysticism like Haiku verses. Bassist Ervin Malina's intensely lyrical con-arco improvisation adds a narrative quality to the piece while drummer Istvan Cik's sparkling cymbals and elegant rhythms underscore its Zen serenity.
Alvanović seamlessly goes from introspection to a pastel hued expressiveness on the sublime "Mustard Fields." Guitarist Gisle Torvik's hypnotic strums shimmer within the lilting, organic flow of the song while saxophonist Bunford Gabor blows serpentine agile lines that float over the band's mesmerizing refrains.
The cinematic title track closes the disc on a high note. Its haunting sound coalesces around Avanović's stimulating and passionate pianism. Guest trumpeter Damir Bacikin adds his clear burnished tone to the mix with a touch of melancholy and contemplation. Drobac joins the core group for a lively choral recital that ushers in the concluding bars.
With her sophomore effort Alvanović's style has matured and the TriO has achieved splendid cohesiveness. Love is a sophisticated work that retains an emotional rawness, denonstrates a superlative celebration of camaraderie without sacrificing individual artistry. It is a near flawless record that showcases Alvanović as a consummate musician and an accomplished orchestrator
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.
Get more of a good thing
Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.