Wet Paint or "fresh paint" symbolizes the formation of the new band or the trio led by soulful bassist, producer and composer Nenad Vasilic who continues to build on the variety steam generated from his previous releases. Here he explores the trio format accompanied by pianist/keyboardist Bojan Z, who finds himself in the role of a sideman. Actually, Bojan Z has lent his talent on Vasilic's album Seven where he was a guest on just two tracks. At one time, these have also worked with Bosnian singer Amira Medujnanin as part of her recording/touring team.
Obviously, these two can lay down a good set. The music here is a case in point: orderly, well-structured, playful and sometimes agreeably middle of the road. A big difference to their chemistry is drummer/percussionist Jarrod Cagwin, a long-time member of oud player/composer Rabih Abou Khalil's band. Cagwin is a brilliant and sensitive contributor. His touch on the drums and the variety of percussion instruments is both supportive and distinctive. It's a showcase how to listen as well as comment.
For most part, the music is like a three-way conversation. The trio explores a great variety of moods, moments and magic. From opener "Seven Blues" until the closing "Fake No More" this record is replete with sleek, captivating melodies over a variety of rhythms, combined in intricate but emotionally engaging structures. With the exception of the vibrant cover of Deep Purple's "Burn" cover, the tempos are slow or medium. And while the trio has moments where the music erupts, it's the various quieter ones that are most appealing. On tracks like "Elevena," "Gospodi Pomiluj,""Groznjan Blue," "New Bass Song" the band is more exploratory and in these soft, discreet intervals, the nuances emerge.
Also, there is a lot of subtle humor which can be felt on "Oj Devojce Pirocance" with its cabaret-like melodies. It's a folk song from the area of Nish, the city from where Vasilic comes from. The follow up "Balkanesque" is full of soft percussion and the piano accompaniment is emotive without being agitated or overly gushy. It starts playfully but soon it straddles the balance between jazz and chamber music.
Wet Paint is definitely not an album for digesting in one sitting. It is beautifully balanced between open soloing and concise composition and that is satisfying for both head and heart.
Seven Blues, Full Half Moon, Elevena, Gospodi pomiluj, Burn, Groznjan Blue, New
Bass Song, Oj Devojce Pirocance, Balkanesque, Chound Seck, Fake No More
Nenad Vasilić: double bass, electric bass. piccolo bass; Bojan Z: Rhodes, piano;
Jarrod Cagwin: drums, percussion