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Vladan: Ornaments

Edward Blanco By

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In October of 2014, young Serbian-born pianist Vladan Mijatovic, who simply prefers to go by his first name as a professional name, performed a concert at Carnegie Hall presenting the music of Ornaments which, is now documented here in his very first piano solo debut. Fusing the music of Eastern Europe with the modern jazz style and classical music, seems to be the formula that propels this gifted pianist to the forefront and drives his inspiration. Vladan now lives and works in New York but, his music has been influenced from the experience of living in the Balkans and surviving two wars where the pain and sadness of such a life is reflected in the music he plays. At the same time, Vladan also recognizes the splendor and happiness that beautiful music can provide and to that end, he leaves a bit of his soul on the keys as he performs the music of this album.

The music begins with the classically-tinged title track where the Eastern European influence is quite evident. The following "Rock & Folk" piece generates more energy and provides the pianist the opportunity to display his able chops on the instrument reflecting forceful right-hand riffs. Vladan himself describes much of his music as "95%...spontaneous improvisation...with an enormous mix of emotion," and that seems to be exactly what you hear on much of the tracks. Vladan's four-part improvisational pieces ("Improv I" through "Improv IV") are a clear example where the music ranges from the introspective "Relatives Impressions" to the classical "Arpeggio Impressions" and the light and warm "My Spontaneous Heart."

Other delightful statements here include the beautiful and soft "Homeland," the folk-styled "Jeremija," and the very reflective "Serbian Leaves." If listening to classically-styled, modern jazz-infused music that pianist Vladan so beautifully provides here is something that draws an interest, Ornaments is a soul-reaching, heart-tugging musical treat one may wish to experience.

Track Listing: Ornaments; Rock & Folk; Leoland; Homeland; Biljana; Jeremija; Serbian Leaves; There Are Days; When I Don’t Know What To Do…; Free Improv (Relatives Impressions); Free Improv (D String Impressions); Free Improv (Arpeggio Impressions); Free Improv (My Spontaneous Heart)

Personnel: Vladan (Mijatovic): piano.

Title: Ornaments | Year Released: 2015 | Record Label: Self Produced


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