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Album Review

Maja Alvanović: Wind Rose

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Maja Alvanović: Wind Rose
The composer and pianist Maja Alvanović forges her unique sound out of the complex rhythms and the poetry of her native Serbia and Jazz's effervescent spontaneity.

She is also a superb bandleader as her Majamisty trio, with fellow Serbians bassist Ervin Malina, and drummer Lav Kovac, performs with vibrant fluidity. The ensemble's fifth release, the charming Wind Rose, maintains the stylistic elements of its predecessors and is equally moving and elegant.

Alvanovic's "Passarola" opens with a cascade of sashaying refrains. Kovac's brief bursts of angular beats delightfully disturb the smoothness of the melody. Malina alternates between pizzicato and bowing on his eloquent improvisation. Alvanovic embellishes the main theme with understated virtuosity and her signature lyricism. The contrast between the rumbling drums and the gentle sway of piano and bass is captivating and whimsical.

Meanwhile, "My Father's New Guitar ',' which Alvanovic's father Blaza Alvanovic penned, is a simmering tune which opens with the sensual, unaccompanied vocals of Macedonia native, Aneta George. Following George in the spotlight is German reedman Ulrich Drechsler. Drechsler weaves a contemplative and forlorn solo and, as he duets with Malina, creates a mystical ambience. Alvanovic's darkly resplendent notes are like pearls as they glide along the band's soulful cadence.

George contributes the wistful "Echoes." Alvanovic's agile and emotive extemporization resonates in the enveloping silence to a cinematic effect. As the rest of the band joins the leader, George articulates the sparse words of the song with eloquence and passion. Dreschsler underscores the collective performance with his mellow and muscular horn lines. Overall the melancholy tinged piece is beautifully cinematic and enthralling.

Malina's "Green Room '' starts off with intriguing bass vamps. Alvanovic's chords echo and underscore the bass as the pianist launches into a rousing interpretation of the main theme. Malina's con arco solo forms the core of the performance around which Alvanovic and Kovac sprinkle crystalline melodic fragments and reverberating beats. The tune is yet another with an engrossingly mysterious mood.

Alvanovic and her sidemen collaboratively create singular and mesmerizing music which is peppered by guest appearances from like-minded artists. Wind Rose is another superb example of their work and a fine addition to Majamisty's discography.

Track Listing

The City Of Jewels; Passarola; Echoes; Green Room; With Or Without You; My Father's New Guitar; Long Embrace; Wind Rose.

Personnel

Majamisty TriO: band/orchestra; Maja Alvanović: piano; Ervin Malina: bass; Lav Kovac: drums; Ulrich Drechsler: clarinet, bass; Aneta George: voice / vocals.

Additional Instrumentation

Aneta George: vocals (3, 6-8); Ulrich Drechsler: bass clarinet, basset horn (3, 6-8).

Album information

Title: Wind Rose | Year Released: 2022 | Record Label: Mistyland


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