Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

365

Vasil Hadzimanov Band: Zivota Mi

Nenad Georgievski By

Sign in to view read count
The figure of Joe Zawinul casts a long shadow in the world of jazz, with plenty of artists finding inspiration in the broad spectrum of his work. Vasil Hadžimanov Band, one of Serbia's leading jazz acts, is led by an artist whose work and imagination is fueled by Zawinul's music, and has come a long way in the process of finding his place in the jazz field. Coming from a musical family with a rich background surely has helped in his musical upbringing, but it's his enduring and uncompromising commitment to music that has secured him a devoted fan base and praise. The band's first two albums were primarily fusion, but were hindered by poor production, portraying the band's skills but not showing anything beyond that limited genre. The band's third album—Sega mu e Majkata (PGP, 2008)—was a new chapter, both in terms of production and composition, but Života Mi (I Swear On My Life) takes a quantum leap forward in both quality and maturity.

A gifted keyboardist, Hadžimanov (the band's leader and composer) balances the fiery tendencies of the classic fusion era with his reflective, sometimes regal approach. Života mi is virtuosic in its execution; relentlessly rhythmic and unmistakably excellent. What makes it so great is his strong and increasingly mature writing, which provides a great basis upon which the players can build. Most compositions are in the four-minute range and, compared to previous pieces, are radio friendly.

The album roars to life with "Balkan tribes," an impressive mosaic of Balkan folk sounds backed by infectious grooves, gypsy melodies and virtuosic cimbalom swings, courtesy of Misel Kurina of Gyass Orchestra. In recent years, Hadžimanov has taken part in other ethnic jazz bands such as Bace Quartet and Balkan Wind; soaking up the experience there, he brings those sounds and rhythms back to his primary band. Backed by a combo, featuring a huge list of guests playing all kinds of instruments, it certainly adds a different flavor to the norm. The players are both technically adept and creative, and the whole combo delivers music with a nice variety in style and emphasis. There is also remarkable depth to the writing; "Martina Misteria" is a curious track with wonderful and playful guitar and flute interplay, while "Perdao" is a melodic, breezy vocal tune with contributions by Bisera and Senka Velentanić.

"Slankamen" is heavily influenced by gypsy melodies. The way the band interacts is a good example of a chemistry that permeates every corner of this album. It is unmistakably a jazz performance—harmonically daring, with the band stretching but not breaking the jazz envelope. "Space Virshla" generates a ribbon of tension and anticipation with its playful piano runs, while "Ahmad the Terrible" is a rhythmic rush of pure adrenaline.

With a beautiful blend of writing and playing Života Mi is Vasil Hadžimanov's most mature and fully realized album to date; breaking new ground without totally abandoning the past.

Track Listing: Balkan tribes; Perdao; Martina misterija; Give me (the) 9; Života mi; Slankamen (Salt Rock City); Space Virshla; E Train for Wayne: Ahmad the Terrible; Krstachko oro (live).

Personnel: Vasil Hadžimanov: piano, Rhodes, keyboards, voice; Vladimir Samardžić: bass; Srđan Dunkić Johnny: drums; Bojan Ivković: percussion, voice; Senka Velentanic: vocal (2); Bisera Velentanic: vocal (2), Brankica Vasić Vasilisa: vocal (10); Jasna Jovicević: flute (3), alt saxophone (4), soprano saxophone (9); Teodossi Spasov: kaval (10); Samir Kurtov: zurla (10); Branko Trijić: ac. guitar (1-3, 6); Mišel Kurina: cimbalom (1, 6); Aleksandar Sedlar: acc.guitar (10); Gudači Svetog Đorđa (10); Bachar Khalife: bender, rek (1, 4-6, 10); Aleksandar Petrov: tapan (10); Svebor Šakić: voice (1).

Title: Zivota Mi | Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: PGP RTS

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.

Album Reviews
Read more articles
Lines in Sand

Lines in Sand

MoonJune Records
2018

buy
Zivota Mi

Zivota Mi

PGP RTS
2010

buy

Related Articles

Read We Are On The Edge: A 50th Anniversary Celebration Album Reviews
We Are On The Edge: A 50th Anniversary Celebration
By Mark Corroto
April 25, 2019
Read Golem Dance Album Reviews
Golem Dance
By Friedrich Kunzmann
April 25, 2019
Read New Jazz Standards, Vol. 4 Album Reviews
New Jazz Standards, Vol. 4
By Dan Bilawsky
April 24, 2019
Read Open Form For Society Album Reviews
Open Form For Society
By Mark Corroto
April 24, 2019
Read Yes Album Reviews
Yes
By John Sharpe
April 24, 2019
Read Avec le temps Album Reviews
Avec le temps
By Mark Sullivan
April 23, 2019
Read Snaketime: The Music Of Moondog Album Reviews
Snaketime: The Music Of Moondog
By Mark Corroto
April 23, 2019