Friday 3 May 2024

'Octave Up' and over with the Shijuka Quintet on A.MA Records.

If proof be needed, Two Things Of Gold's album (see review HERE) on A.MA Records  showed that the label was open minded when it comes to core-jazz basics.   And in eight traks by Aleksandar Jovanović, the pianist, composer, arranger of his Serbian quintet, Shijuka (as he's known to his mates) has gone up that Octave of a higher ground.

The big track is 'What If...' which puts a trumpet and sax on a Belgrade bound BadBadNotGood boat for a traditional wedding.

Whilst the opener, 'Five Or None' is strong on the classical jazz sound, Jovanović's piano style has been compared to Ahmad Jamal (on 'Impure Blue') and we know Radivojevic and Obradovic's front line partnership on Irina Pavlović's 'The Soulful Heritage' album (see review HERE) and on the mellow track, 'Blue Danube' on this album.

Appropriately, a track called 'Missing Part' (the longest track on the album) is composed with a wandering noodle element which we all need in our lives but they seem to have really got it together on 'Impure Blue' and the swing of 'Uneven Swing'.

For fans of Balkan Jazz (if you need some catching up, check fellow pianist / composer Janko Nilović, Dusko Goykovich or indeed anything on Željko Kerleta magical Cosmic Sounds label) this is the update of their jazz in a quintet form

Artist: Shijuka Quintet 
Title: Octave Up
Release date: 3rd May, 2024 
Label : A.MA Edizioni / A.MA Records
Format : LP / CD / Digital / Bandcamp

Aleksandar Jovanovic Shljuka - Piano
Ivan Radivojevic - Trumpet
Rastko Obradovic - Alto & Soprano Saxophone
Milan Pavkovic - Double Bass
Aleksandar Cvetkovic - Drums


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