This CD is quite an education. There’s power in music of one’s homeland. Somehow, it transcends all opinions, criticisms, language and cultural limitations.
Vasilic Nenad and his Balkan Band give us an "ear" view into his culture. These folk songs are all native to the former Yugoslavia (Balkans). The jazz interpretation is something else. Collectively, the musicians show their love and share it with you, the listener.
Each track has it’s own character, true and deep. From Stefan Heckel’s lilting piano, Pilem’s storytelling sax, Stupar’s drums, Peric’s percussion along with Nenad’s bass technique, there’s such wonder. The beauty of this production shines through like bright sun breaking an overcast sky. Nice variations of mood, but nothing so melancholy to be depressing. Regardless of the meaning in each track, there’s a good balance of uptempo and ballad-like sets.
"Sesir Moj," and "Seidefu Platno Belese," are real highlights. "Kad Ja Podjoh Na Bembasu," is a solid, beautiful piece. It’s obvious that they know their jazz and superbly incorporated that knowledge into music many of us have yet to experience in its traditional form. One can’t help but be drawn to it, whether or not you understand specifics.
This is the perfect example of the cliché of "music as the universal language." All in this group showcase beautifully and you shouldn’t miss it.