Nenad Vasilić: Seven (Galileo Music)

Jazz inspiration of Nenad Vasilić is his perception of Serbian south



Nenad Vasilić’s new album is mainly based on the characteristics of ethno-milieu which is a characteristic of Southern Serbia. From today’s perspective, looking on it (and we`re talking about a music climate which stubbornly persists in its basic outlines) traditional sublimate of this region originated from a variety of influences. In this part of the creation of Niš or Vranje region, which is formed in the nineteenth and mid-twentieth century, we come to what is often called the traditional Serbian music: vocal and instrumental songs and folk dances which with the time had built in various oriental elements.

Instrumentarium  was usually made of typical brass band ensembles, “bleh” orchestras, Čoček ensembles , which gives this music a special color and impurities of implemented military music. In addition, we can often find examples of the use of odd rhythms (7/8), and not so rare, also 9/8 (like in the song “Niška Banja”) but played in a more complex way (2 +2 +2 +3) which simply makes us dance. Interestingly, Vasilić partly used this very moment – in the few songs he wants to `force` us to dance, or, with a pleasure, listen to one of dimensions of so-called Southern railway.

To make things less simple, this ethno music was enriched by Gypsy singers and orchestras, gave it their seal, so it became a synthesis of multiple influences of diverse cultures and very recognizable because of these characteristics and their mixtures. Thus the second part of the album, it is safe to say,  Vasillić’s permanent inspiration from gypsy music and Šaban Bajramović, the singer whose work still awaits confirmation of the public and musicologists. It seems to be that a serious professional analysis will conclude that Bajramović was one of our greatest ethno-jazz singers of all time. And that “Šabans tone” is very important for jazz that is represented on the album “Seven.”

The Southern railway Marquez, except for compelling images of  writer Stevan Sremac, anticipated and designed  in one of his phantasmagoric books, it also has a third rail on which are moving music trains. When Vranjanka Stana Avramović Karaminga  in mid twenties created music that was expressed with sorrow, and that it is the closest in form and interpretation to blues of black Americans, although we do not believe that she knew anything about America or contemporary musical trends. And exactly that southern Serbian blues is the third dimension by which the typical Niš and Vranje are known for. Vasilić did not  (Nishati blu-ton) neglect this. That, he wove into his creations  this Southern  specificity, the most prominent in the track “Janina” or in those where Bojan Z with his virtuosity, becoming very dominant, taking over the baton and wearing in a little further improvised waters. Certainly, this pianist is obviously always striving to be as free as a bird.



The nine tracks on the album  are for the pleasure of audiophiles – recordings are technically flawless. Seven musicians who make up the “Seven” are not only good, but  outstanding instrumentalists. Vasilić’s arrangements and compositions are separate stories – they were built by the improvisation of existing motif which creates a new melody or a variation of the main topic – but so as not to desecrate the matrix already entered into our genetic codes. And the  segregation of topics usually runs as a succession of rhythm, harmony and melody, creating a new material that is returned without any difficulty, where it started from.

The most interesting, though, is the setting of the instruments, their input and output: short alternating solos of the instrumentalists create a series of solos  in which the instruments  meet in the collective improvisation. To point out the most memorable moments: “Janina” a Southern ballad that reflects the beauty and tenderness, which is like an aura wrapped around girls from Niš and Vranje – in whose veins flows the grace of čočekinjas (it will, and without the author’s permission, dedicate to all the young ladies from this area that carry this name). “Za grofa” is a trombone dedication and the great improvisational jazz madness will be found in the compositions “Mr. AB” or “Intro for Shaban.” And if you continue to travel, listening to all of our doorsteps knocking rhythm tracks, you’ll be rewarded with  a handful of beautiful, free landscapes which we are led to by Nenad Vasilić.

Certainly, we must mention the real recitative – the  performance of the artists in the number  “A be de be”. Specifically, these are the verses of the Low journeyman Alexy that drowned, a truly intriguing composition for whose development in time and its composer has several variations. And when silent hits the skit with journeymen, all the stories about the origin of this poem make sense to you which ever is true. One thing is for sure, the words of this song are like oral Čaršija news  that traveling through the coppersmith alley became a legend over-living  the actors and creators.

Nenad Vasilić,  the leader, composer and a truly Serbian bluesman, will speak with the bassline in the “Intro for Shaban.” Inevitably we have to say a few words about probably the most intriguing playing on accordion – about Marko Živadinović. And after the text reaches the full stop  we will remain in doubt  by the accordion players choice –  rather to continue or to praise the work of any of the international artists who celebrate this instrument in the waters of jazz, Živadinović sticks to one style of a Krnjevac, Jovica Petković or any other local ace , representing the best Serbian accordion.

Nenad Vasilić’s jazz inspiration is his perception of the southern Serbian railways. The greatest writer of  the blues of the south, Bora Stanković, played music with his words: “Everyone has to have lit a lantern in their head. So it  lights during day and during night. For who does not light up from the inside, they are not alive; lantern helps to better see faces, objects, what is going on. It helps to choose, every little thing down and connect the image to knit, so we can discover life in one hundred others. Without lighted lantern there are no words; no story in which the life breathes, cries or spills of sweetness. ”



Translation from original article: Sofija Knežević

Track list: Buđenje, Južna, Janina, Day By Day, Za grofa, A be da be (Madley), Mr.A.B., Intro For Shaban, No Problem Song.

Musicians: Vladimir Karparov – saxophone; Marko Živadinović – accordeon; Mario Vavti – trombone; Philipp Kopmajer – drums; Nenad Vasilić – double bass; Thomas Mauerhofer – guitar (3); Bojan Z – Fender Rhodes (7,8).



One Response to "Nenad Vasilić: Seven (Galileo Music)"

  1. Ivana says:

    Ovo je vrhunski, nisam ni znala za ovaj sajt do danas. Intervjui, slike, video materijali…sve. Pozdrav

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