Thursday 23 November 2023

Posted by Gerry Hectic | File under : , , ,

From Serbia via Italy, pianist/composer/arranger Irina Pavlovic debut's her album 'The Soulful Heritage' [and don't be put off by the cover]. 

The soul heritage she bases this album of soul-jazz a la 60s French new wave/jazz quartet post-bop swing; don't be misled by the soft focus of the album cover.

Led by Irina (piano), the nine tracks mostly revolve around her and Ivan Radivojevic (trumpet,flugelhorn) Rastko Obradovic (tenor saxophone), Milan Nikolic (bass) and Dusan Novakov (drums)/Luka Jovicic (drums on track 1 and 5).

The title track features U.S. vocalist Dean Bowman (with some Dwight Trible style exercises; big fans of Dwight - see review HERE) and also the 'bone work of Corey Wilcox (and again, Cory turns up couple more tracks to feature) for a spell-binding 6 minutes that's equally at home with the swingin' Latin-bop of 'Arriba, Arriba' (love this one).

We said with the recent A.MA release by Two Pots Of Gold (see review of 'Two Pots Of Gold' HERE) that they are on a departure from previous "straight jazz" and this album does seem to edge to some of the previous releases by the Schema label.

And it's not just Schema, but let's just pick on their 'house' trombonist, Gianluca Petrella as he set a tone in Italy and now Mr. Wilcox, who might only appear on 3 tracks, is definitely a star of this show with 'Podednik (The Victor Of Belgrade)' and the bangin' avant-blues march of 'Reviving Blast'.

There's big respect to Blue Note/Pretege/Riverside et al especially as Novalov's drums can swing-bop-simmer; there's a couple of slower tracks, like the rive gauche of 'My Return' that Irina plays the electric piano and Obradovic and Radivojevic get a chance to have a workout.

Nikolic's bass also gets to feature on the tender duet with Irena 'My Tree' and featured on 'Look Above' and then there's Irina's soft to heavy hands on the piano for the powerful 'Dawn In The Warfield'.

Back on the album cover; it's a shame that they couldn't do a Yusef Lateef syled 'Jazz For The Thinker' cover as the Podednik is a war monument statue in Belgrade; and as that's such a great track.

But that'll be my minute gripe as this album is much more than a soul-jazz tribute and whilst Irena is the leader, I hope that the core of this group is able to keep together as they clearly work so well together and support each other.

Many thanks again to DJ Bob Hill of the Return Of The Illicit Groove for keeping us up to date with all things jazzy/acid jazz.  

PS. Yusef Lateef's album, 'Jazz For The Thinker' is the hard bop/modal classic from 1957 featuring  Lateef on tenor and flute, Curtis Fuller on trombone, Hugh Lawson piano, Ernie Farrow bass, and Louis Hayes drums.

Artist: Irena Pavlović

Title: The Soulful Heritage

Release date: 24th November, 2023

Label : A.MA Records

Catalog Number : CD / Digital / Bandcamp 


Post a Comment