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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: Dimitrijie, Sine Mitre; Song For Alma; Through the Night; Lucky Number; Far From Home; Together; Blessing; By Your Side; Happiness; Serbia.
Personnel: Rale Micic: electric guitar, nylon string guitar; Tom Harrell: trumpet, flugelhorn; Bob Reynolds: tenor saxophone; Sean Conly: acoustic bass; Gregory Hutchinson: drums.
As a kid, my mom told me I'd like jazz. I thought she was nuts. Then I went to hear Cannonball Adderley (with Nat Adderley, George Duke, Walter Booker, Roy McCurdy and Airto) and everything changed. Yeah, mom knows best.