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Majamisty Trio: Wind Rose

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Majamisty Trio: Wind Rose
The Serbian pianist Maja Alvanović and her trio won widespread acclaim in 2020 for Organic (Majamisty), with All About Jazz and The New York Times among early champions of the album. An ineffably beautiful disc, it drove some writers towards the rocks of hyperbole as surely as the Sirens of Greek mythology wrecked besotted seafarers.

But overall the praise was justified. And the good news is that Wind Rose, the group's fourth album, rides the same tide, with the same success. In a noisy, complex and often ugly world, Wind Rose offers, not escapism, but a vision of how things might be, when harmony rather than dissonance is the default position.

Comparisons are drawn between Alvanović and Bill Evans but a closer soul mate would be Erik Satie. Like Satie, Alvanović pares melody and harmony down to the essentials. Her compositions are often little more than iterated motifs which can be (and on occasion are) as effectively picked out on the double bass as on the piano. Also unlike Evans, Alvanović writes much of her material herself. Four of the eight tunes on Wind Rose are originals, with others from bassist Ervin Malina, guest vocalist Aneta George and Blaza Alvanovic (whoever he or she may be). The eighth tune is the trio's collective reimagining of rock band U2's "With Or Without You." Some of us may not want to be reminded of U2, but this remake is transformative enough to pass the b.s. detector.

Understatement and nuance characterise the music, but it also possesses tensile strength. Each member of the trio contributes to this, with drummer Lav Kovac locking it all down. He does this without ever resorting to metronomic groove, instead playing all over the kit and all around the beat, frequently using brushes.

Guest artists George and woodwind player Ulrich Drechsler, who play on four tracks, fit in well. But Wind Rose is essentially a trio album and it is a breath of fresh air.

Track Listing

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

Personnel

Maja Alvanović: piano; Ervin Malina: bass; Lav Kovac: drums.

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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