6

Majamisty TriO: Mistyland

Hrayr Attarian By

Sign in to view read count
Supreme virtuosity and intense lyricism come together on Majamisty Trio's Mystiland. Both the group and record are named after Erroll Garner's composition that serves as leader Maja Alvanović's theme song, and is also the only standard on an otherwise all-original disc from the pianist. She imbues Garner's masterpiece with a breeziness that masks the complexities of her Interpretation, letting a sublime gracefulness shine through.

Alvanović, a professor of classical piano at Serbia's Novi Sad University, has also been affected by pianist Bill Evans' idiosyncratic style. The opening of "Landscape" features cascading piano tones not unlike Evans' "singing" lines, while the second half is characterized by a nocturne-esque mood, with bluesy melodicism enriching the tune without changing its essence. Bassist Ervin Malina brief guitar-like solo underscores the nighttime feel.

Malina, a virtuoso in his own right, coaxes a wide palette of sounds from his bass including some Levantine, oud-like strumming on a daringly luscious "Barquinho," and cello-informed bowing on the haunting "Lullaby for Iva," which also introduces Aleksandra Drobac Čik's ethereal vocals. Drobac Čik's sensuous vocalese, backed by the trio's modal, minor-key improvisations, brings a poetic sensibility to "Queen of Fruit."

Inspired by the beauty of her hometown Alvanović's impressionistic compositions are spiced by hints of a Balkan musical heritage. "The Tear" utilizes silent pauses and piano notes that, together with deeply resonant bass and drummer Ištvan Čik's brushes, conjure images of wet streets on a rainy evening. Elsewhere, the achingly breathtaking "She Said" has the harmonic motif of an old folk song, especially in the duet between Alvanović's pianism and Malina's arco bass, intelligently punctuated by Čik's rhythmic cymbals and shakers. Čik's rock-influenced and inventive drumming on "With You" stands in contrast to his band mates' distinctly eastern tonalities, creating a unique whole.

A musical alchemist, Alvanović has constructed a work of subtle elegance from western classical structures, jazz spontaneity and the complex rhythms of her native land. Often melancholic, sometimes exuberant but always enchanting, this album has earned its place next to the best examples of European jazz.

Track Listing: Landscape; Barquinho; She Said; Lullaby For Iva; The Queen Of Fruit; The Tear; With You; Red Like; Happy Love Song; Tuesday; Waltz For Sofia; Misty.

Personnel: Maja Alvanović: piano; Ervin Malina: double bass; Ištvan Čik: drums; Aleksandra Drobac Čik: vocals (4, 5, 8)

Title: Mistyland | Year Released: 2012 | Record Label: Self Produced


Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Aqustico vol 2 CD/LP/Track Review Aqustico vol 2
by Geno Thackara
Published: September 25, 2017
Read Lattice CD/LP/Track Review Lattice
by Mark Corroto
Published: September 25, 2017
Read Beginnings CD/LP/Track Review Beginnings
by David A. Orthmann
Published: September 25, 2017
Read Synchronic CD/LP/Track Review Synchronic
by Roger Farbey
Published: September 25, 2017
Read Slægt CD/LP/Track Review Slægt
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: September 24, 2017
Read An Eye on the Future CD/LP/Track Review An Eye on the Future
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 24, 2017
Read "Until Your Throat Is Dry" CD/LP/Track Review Until Your Throat Is Dry
by John Sharpe
Published: September 29, 2016
Read "Saluting Sgt. Pepper" CD/LP/Track Review Saluting Sgt. Pepper
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 22, 2017
Read "Nearness" CD/LP/Track Review Nearness
by Doug Collette
Published: October 7, 2016
Read "Hot Coffey in the D – Burnin' at Morey Baker’s Showplace Lounge" CD/LP/Track Review Hot Coffey in the D – Burnin' at Morey...
by Doug Collette
Published: January 15, 2017
Read "Can't Get Started" CD/LP/Track Review Can't Get Started
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: August 24, 2017
Read "Gol" CD/LP/Track Review Gol
by James Nadal
Published: July 28, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.