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Dusan Jevtovic / Vasil Hadzimanov / Asaf Sirkis: No Answer

Karl Ackermann By

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Serbian guitarist Dusan Jevtovic debuted on Moonjune Records with a mix of hard rock and thrash metal. His Am I Walking Wrong? (2014) featured the conventional bass and drums rhythm section and demonstrated the guitarist's broad range. With No Answer the formation is far less traditional as fellow Serbian and pianist/keyboardist Vasil Hadzimanov and Israeli drummer Asaf Sirkis skirt around the bass-less trio with taut performances that again defy genre identification.

In his sophomore outing as a leader, Jevtovic has taken a significant leap in terms of composing, improvising and skillfully rendering distinctive atmospheres. Hadzimanov, though a relative newcomer, has worked with a number of celebrated musicians including David Gilmore, Antonio Sanchez and David Binney who was part of the pianist's debut group. Sirkis is the best known of this group having recorded nine albums as a leader and appearing on seventy five others. He has worked with Gwilym Simcock, Tim Garland, John Abercrombie, Kenny Wheeler, Andy Sheppard and many others.

Hadzimanov guides in "Al Aire -Soko Bira" with a gentle, repetitive pattern allowing Jevtovic to move in quietly and then catch fire. On "Frusci," the guitarist channels Jeff Beck while Hadzimanov utilizes the electric keyboards for a 1960s style ambience. There are more tranquil moments as well, particularly on "Yo Sin Mi," "A Ver," and "Prayer." The latter incorporates some exotic Eastern effects that are especially appealing. "The Place With A View" closes the album on a spacey, meditative note.

Jevtovic has been compared to so many legendary guitarists—Robert Fripp, Nels Cline and John Abercrombie to name a few—that such contrasts lose their integrity. He is quite impressive technically and artistically and his growth as a composer shows a high level of sophistication. Guitar and piano work excellently together and the veteran Sirkis works his magic in a subdued manner. No Answer is the kind of entry that should bring in a wider audience for all involved.

Track Listing: Al Aire - Soko Bira; Frusci; Yo Sin Mi; No Answer; A Ver; Prayer; Lifetime; Prayer; El Oro; The Place With A View.

Personnel: Dusan Jevtovic: guitar; Vasil Hadzimanov: piano, Rhodes, moog; Asaf Sirkis: drums.

Title: No Answer | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: MoonJune Records

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