Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!


Miroslav Tadic: Spavati, Mozda Sanjati

Nenad Georgievski By

Sign in to view read count
With each new work, guitarist Miro Tadić shows that he is an artist that relentlessly pushes boundaries and defies any expectations. His discography demonstrates a masterful versatility, as he fearlessly and seamlessly transcends both geographies and music genres, all on one record—from Bach to Balkan improvisations and folk songs, from Satie to free improv music. Because of this, it should come as no surprise that his latest release is yet another stylistic curveball.

Tadić has always implied his extensive knowledge and experiences from the classical world into everything he interprets without losing the feel of the original material. Not only that, actually he deepens the music he plays and as such his records including Spavati, Možda Sanjati (To Sleep, Perchance to Dream) have been idiosyncratic and highly personalized. But whatever methods and techniques he brings to his playing, they serve the music itself. The result is an art form that tugs at your ears and heart. Spavati is a perfect summary of the Tadić's impulses, techniques, and strengths. It's a collection of ballads, traditional songs and lullabies and this affair spans the spectrum of his influences from classical and flamenco to blues and Balkan folk music. Clearly, he is in command of a broad harmonic knowledge, but his approach towards these songs is all about subtleties, elegance, and understatement.

The opening track "Čitavu noć slavuj" is the first out of two renditions of songs written by the Croatian songwriter Arsen Dedic that can be found on this record. His work presents a great inspiration for Tadić as he has performed his songs previously whether on his previous output Mirina or on the duet with pianist Matija Dedic's homage. "Čitavu noć slavuj" serves more as a thematic and mood touchstone for what is to follow and the mood is beautifully contemplative as Tadić employs the full range of the acoustic instrument's possibilities in a stunning musical way. And he does that on the rest of the tracks. Listeners that are hungry for subtleties will find a feast here, played on classical guitar but in several styles and modes. All of the tracks are like a masterly resume of his idiosyncratic approach. Tadić has an orchestral approach on the guitar and with his amazing economy of his playing, he builds his compositions gradually and with great care. There aren't any sharp edges to mar his approach and he makes a positive use of both space and quietude.

In the past whenever he mined the Balkan music heritage he put a greater emphasis on Macedonian folk songs but recently he has been interpreting Croatian and Serbian folk songs. "Tiho Noći" is a mournful ballad popularized by one of the greatest singers from Vojvodina (Northern Serbia), Zvonko Bogdan and the lyrics are based on a poem written by J.J. Zmaj, who was one of the best-known Serbian poets from the XIX Century. The words denote a children lullaby, but over the years it has taken a form of a plaintive ballad and it seems that Tadić sobs and sighs on the fretboard thus giving that feel of someone that is staring the dark horizons.

Among these songs and ballads, there are wonderful interpretations of classics from other geographies such as "Duerme Negritto," which is a gentle interpretation of this well-known Latin American lullaby and he interprets another composition from that part of the world, "Volcanito Dormido" by an Argentinian composer, Santiago Vázquez. Another wonderful lullaby that joins this repertoire is "Nana" by the great Spanish composer Manuell De Falla. It is lyrical with Spanish-inflected playing. Tadić builds and builds, wave after wave of guitar, of perfectly restrained, beautifully realized, and utterly mesmerizing music.

In this age of speed, immediacy and short attention span, the act of listening to a solo guitar may seem alien to some but Spavati, Možda Sanjati is an emotionally and musically rewarding experience. Every detail about it points to an incredible musician, not just in his playing, but with his understanding of music and its emotive qualities.

Track Listing: Čitavu noć slavulj…; Zvira voda; Duerme Negrito; Ako si pošla spat; Mana, Teus Cabelos; Nana; Happy 13; Volcancito Dormido; Ofelija; Tiho noći.

Personnel: Miroslav Tadić: acoustic and electric guitars, classical bariton guitar, fretless bariton guitar, prepared guitar, electric bass, la puerta del bajo

Title: Spavati, Mozda Sanjati | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: Croatia Records


comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Bricks CD/LP/Track Review Bricks
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 17, 2017
Read Makes the Heart to Sing: Jazz Hymns CD/LP/Track Review Makes the Heart to Sing: Jazz Hymns
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 16, 2017
Read Song of No Regrets CD/LP/Track Review Song of No Regrets
by Jack Bowers
Published: December 16, 2017
Read Sounding Tears CD/LP/Track Review Sounding Tears
by John Sharpe
Published: December 16, 2017
Read Lighthouse CD/LP/Track Review Lighthouse
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 16, 2017
Read Kill The Boy CD/LP/Track Review Kill The Boy
by Chris Mosey
Published: December 16, 2017
Read "Blooming Tall Phlox" CD/LP/Track Review Blooming Tall Phlox
by Mark Sullivan
Published: January 23, 2017
Read "Avenida Graham" CD/LP/Track Review Avenida Graham
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 27, 2017
Read "Solo: Reflections and Meditations on Monk" CD/LP/Track Review Solo: Reflections and Meditations on Monk
by Mark Corroto
Published: November 29, 2017
Read "Trillium Falls" CD/LP/Track Review Trillium Falls
by Jack Bowers
Published: April 5, 2017
Read "The Day After" CD/LP/Track Review The Day After
by David A. Orthmann
Published: February 14, 2017
Read "Vars & Kaper:Deconstruction" CD/LP/Track Review Vars & Kaper:Deconstruction
by Ian Patterson
Published: December 29, 2016

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!