A slice of Mediterranean jazz
Reviewed May 2006
By Rale Micic
CTA Records: 2006
To hear sound clips or learn more about this release, Turbula recommends viewing its Amazon.com entry.
Thinking in musical terms of Serbia, native land of jazz guitarist Rale Micic, generally brings up thoughts of piquant Eastern European harmonies with Middle Eastern overtornes. Given Serbia's geographic and historical role as bridge between Europe and Asia, its Balkan traditions have been dominated by Slavic and Turkish influences.
But the former Yugoslavia is also Mediterranean, just across the Aegean from Italy, and it is this theme that shines through on Micic's new release.
Bright and sunny, almost breezy at times, the music laid down by Micic and his quintet reminds of Wes Montgomery or Cannonball Adderly in its ability to be a light listen while still carrying substantial heft in terms of the musical ideas presented.
Trumpeter Tom Harrell's leads are as mesmerizing as always, showing why he is considered one of the handful of top trumpeters in jazz today, while Bob Reynolds provides a lithe counterpoint on tenor sax.
But this is Micic's session and his electric hollow-body guitar provides the kind of tasteful sophistication we'd expect from Herb Ellis or Joe Pass.
Review by Jim Trageser. Jim is a writer and editor living in Escondido, Calif., and was a contributor to the "Grove Press Guide to Blues on CD" (1993) and "The Routledge Encyclopedia of the Blues" (2005).