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Uros Spasojevic/Bojan Marjanovic: V

Mark Sullivan By

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Serbian electric bass guitarist Uros Spasojevic presents an intimate set of solos and duets with pianist Bojan Marjanovic. He plays an extended range instrument, frequently employing an approach more like a guitarist than a bassist—in terms of both timbre and register.

Opener "North" is the first of three unaccompanied bass pieces. Beginning with volume-pedal swelled chords which are then looped, Spasojevic adds a spare, echoing solo part. In contrast "Senok" features Marjanovic's piano with a lyrical unaccompanied opening, accompanied by the bass before Spasojevic joins in melodically. The low bass register finally makes an audible appearance in the leader's playing during "Water," giving the arpeggios new range and depth. The title tune sounds very much like a guitar solo with piano accompaniment.

Several tracks go into more experimental territory. "Hope" is another unaccompanied bass solo set in a huge reverberant space. Much of "End of the Hill" employs atmospheric rubato piano and electronic sound effects from the bass. Closer "Sea" sets up an arpeggiated loop, followed by a bass solo with extreme echo effects and pitch shifting.

Given Spasojevic's admitted love of the ECM sound it is notable that the recording sessions took place at Oslo's storied Rainbow Studios, with mixing and mastering by engineer Jan Erik Kongshaug (veteran of numerous ECM sessions). The album as a whole recalls electric bassist Bjorn Meyer's solo album Provenance (ECM Records, 2017). Spasojevic has a distinctive voice on the electric bass, worthy of a brighter spotlight than he has received so far.

Track Listing: North; Senok; Water; Guide; Hope; V; End of The Hill; Change; Sea.

Personnel: Uros Spasojevic: electric bass; Bojan Marjanovic: piano.

Title: V | Year Released: 2018 | Record Label: Amp Music & Records

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