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Review of the day by Scott Yanow: Blazin Quartet - Jalkan Bazz


Blazin’ Quartet is an excellent name for this group for the musicians play with consistent passion, intensity, and an openness to other genres of music. While very much a jazz album, Jalkan Bazz also has the strong influence of Balkan music and the musicians display the willingness to occasionally add electronics to make the results unpredictable and surprising.

The group is comprised of drummer Srdjan Ivanovic (who contributed most of the pieces), bassist Mihail Ivanov, trombonist Michael Rorby and tenor-saxophonist Joao Driessen. Driessen and particularly Rorby are superior soloists, able to swing hard while also being versatile. The trombone-tenor frontline may make one think of the Jazz Crusaders for a moment, but Ivanovic’s occasional use of programming on a synthesizer and Driessen’s utilization of an EWI gives the music a futuristic feel at times, even when it hints at traditional Balkan melodies. Guitarist Rambo Amadeus guests on four songs, taking a deep-toned vocal on “About Everything (It’s Complicated)” and Zlatko Baracskai adds some otherworldly sounds on his turntable during his four appearances.

Blazin’ Quartet achieves the difficult feat of looking both backwards in time and forward towards the future at the same time. While it may sometimes be difficult to categorize, the term “colorful creative jazz” fits its music quite well.
Scott Yanow

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