Although a relative newcomer as a bandleader, guitarist Rale Micic's studies with the likes of Mick Goodrick, Bob Brookmeyer, Hal Crook and others obviously have enhanced his gifts as a player and composer. His soft, lyrical style of playing complements his superb band, featuring the masterful trumpeter and flugelhornist Tom Harrell, tenor saxophonist Bob Reynolds, bassist Sean Conly and drummer Gregory Hutchinson.
Micic opens the session unaccompanied on nylon string guitar, interpreting a Serbian folk song. Throughout the date he is equally effective, whether comping behind other soloists or taking the lead. His tantalizing "Through the Night is an easygoing ballad in waltz time. "Lucky Number showcases the leader to good effect in an up-tempo bop setting, while the mid-tempo "Blessing is a bit breezy. The upbeat cooker "Happiness incorporates a bit of Latin flavor, showcasing an understated solo by the leader that could easily be mistaken for Jim Hall. Conly contributed the haunting ballad "Far From Home, which is arranged for the rhythm section alone.
Although there are no liner notes to indicate how long the musicians were able to work together prior to the recording session, it is obvious that everyone was on the same wavelength and focused on blending with one another while capturing the essence of each composition.
Track Listing: Dimitrije, Sine Mitre; Song for Alma; Through the Night; Lucky Number; Far From Home; Together; Blessing; By Your Side; Happiness; Serbia.
Personnel: Rale Micic: guitar; Tom Harrell: trumpet & flugelhorn; Bob Reynolds: tenor saxophone; Sean Conly: acoustic bass; Gregory Hutchinson: drums.
First time I met Lee Konitz, my mentor who completely changed my life, in 1992. He was giving a masterclass at the Cologne Conservatory (Germany) where I was a freshmen (with playing experience around three years total)
First time I met Lee Konitz, my mentor who completely changed my life, in 1992. He was giving a masterclass at the Cologne Conservatory (Germany) where I was a freshmen (with playing experience around three years total). He saw an alto sax on my neck and said: Hey, how about you there, would you like to play something for us? I played a piece with the piano. OK, said Lee, how about you play something unaccompanied? Oh yeah! I was deep into transcribing Sonny Stitt and pretty much into playing as fast as possible as many right notes as possible. So I played Oleo in about 300 beats per minute and was very proud of myself. Lee was tapping his foot all the way through. Hmm, he said, that was in time and all that... (I thought - yeah, of course, haha!) and then he said, You've got a lot of quantity, how about quality? It took me 15 years to realize what he meant.