The proceeds from the album are intended to fund Dusan’s next studio release.••••••••••••••••••••••••••
There is something daringly creative about Dusan Jevtovic’s latest release. Live at Home is an album that has many special characteristics.
As the name aptly suggests this is a live album and was recorded on the 23rd December 2016 at the Decije Pozorište in Dusan’s home city of Kragujevac in Serbia. The recording is clear and uncluttered and does not suffer from any intrusive audience noise, or unwelcome audience participation.
Live at Home contains a number of pieces that featured on Jevtovic’s outstanding No Answer album. For the live performance, Jevtovic’s is aided, as he was in No Answer, by the renowned Serbian keyboard player Vasil Hadzimanov. The rest of the band on this live occasion are made up of Pera Krstajic on bass and Pedja Milutonovic on drums.
Live at Home leaves little doubt that progressive fusion can be a passionate affair. It is an album that is never sterile, but is teeming with feeling and creative ideas that give it an organic and human touch. It burns energetically and ignites a multitude of senses; it gently serenades the heart, and when dissonance takes place, it seductively caresses the mind.
Live at Home is a superbly-crafted fusion master class. It oozes with heartfelt emotion; containing dashing solo lines and dazzling instrumental passages.
This is no more apparent than in the delightful melodies of Angel, which showcases Jevtovic’s compositional skills in a different light. It is a warmly written love song and is far removed from the explosive guitar playing and ferocious fusion that he is often associated with. It provides an altogether different hue to the boldly expressive colours of the albums instrumental pieces.
The music goes way beyond any normally defined parameters associated with fusion. This creates an album that is often exhilarating and challenging in its complexity. Technically excellent playing is combined with musical structures that enable boldly creative developments and well thought out embellishments to take place. Live at Home is a release that is able to take the listener through a range of moods and emotions. It combines the right mixture of aggression and charming serenity and never ignores the importance of the use of light and shade to emphasise its more explosive parts.
Babe is probably the most progressive piece of the release and highlights Jevtovic’s strengths as a guitarist and as a composer. It merges Serbian folk influences with Jazz fusion and prog. It is crammed with complex rhythms and heavy discordant passages. The cleverly sampled voices of Serbian folk singing at the beginning, middle and end of the piece, give the track an added appeal and provide a real sense of heart thumping human energy and genuine ethnicity.
Jevtovic’s outstanding guitar parts wail, moan and often erupt in rage. His solos are engaging and the use and careful selection of a range of effects is never predictable or inaccessibly flamboyant. Jevtovic combines unnerving ferocity with passages of measured subtlety. His sparkling contribution is easy to appreciate and difficult to ignore.
Vasil Hadzimanov contribution is equally important. His flowing piano flourishes, balm the effect of the metallic impact of Jevtovic’s abrasive guitar tones. This juxtaposition between the sweetness of his playing and the harsh distorted tone that Jevtovic often utilises, lies firmly at the heart of much of the albums appeal.
There are numerous heavy and intense moments that are garlanded and sweetened by a bouquet of colourful world influences. Hadzimanov ‘s tune that is entitled Briga, is full of Balkan folk influences and is bedecked by keyboard parts that are equally as expressive as anything that Josef Zawinul, or Chick Corea might have played with Weather Report, or Return To Forever. The use of sampled vocals adds to Briga’s engaging and unusual wide palette of sounds. In this piece, you can almost taste the freedom of expression and clear empathy between the players that lies at its heart.
The live performance captured in this release, gives an opportunity for the listener to experience something that is organic; pulsating with life and flavoured with a pungent capricious essence.
It is clear that the performing musicians have great empathy with each other. The band has great confidence in the quality and strength of the compositions. The players are able to take the basic components of each piece and surf on a froth free wave of improvisation. This creates a truly outstanding live performance and a totally satisfying album.
If you enjoy edgy tunes flavoured with lavish amounts of unpredictability and filled with accomplished playing; Live a
t Home is sure to delight. It is an album that rewards intensive and repeated listens.
If you enjoy edgy tunes flavoured with lavish amounts of unpredictability and filled with accomplished playing; Live at Home is sure to delight. It is an album that rewards intensive and repeated listens, fresh and progressive.
VASIL HADZIMANOV keyboards
PERA KRSTAJIC bass guitar
PEDJA MILUTINOVIC drums
Recorded live at Decije Pozoriste, Kragujevac, Serbia, December 23, 2016.
The inspired pairing of guitarist Dusan Jevtovic and pianist Vasil Hadzimanov, mobilized by the convincing playing of Asaf Sirkis on drum kit, has resulted in a sound that cross-pollinates the most forward thinking aspects of progressive music with the excitement of post-jazz. Think ECM record label vibe filtered through Radiohead played at an intimate after-hours jazz venue and you’ll catch the vibe. Choosing to work without a bass player opens new dynamic possibilities and allows the guitar and keyboard voicing to dance and weave in a textural ballet. Vasil’s beautiful arpeggiated piano serves as delicate counterpoint to Dusan’s raw textured playing. Asaf alternates between the delicacy of Jon Christensen and the driving power of vintage Billy Cobham. Mini Moog bass brings a powerful bottom end for Jevtovic’ soaring acrobatics and reinforces Sirkis’ driving grooves. As with the very best instrumental music, there is a lot of careful listening, creative comping, and building off the other players’ energy, resulting in a music that is at once confident, inspired and original.
With the release of “Random Abstract”, Xavi Reija and Dusan Jevtovic have chosen to pare down to a two-man configuration appropriately named XaDu. In many musical situations, the absence of a third player could easily constrict the creative flow as the remaining players might feel an obligation to “keep the music together” by assigning one instrument the role of maintaining the melodic structure or locking in the groove so the sound doesn’t go into freefall. In the “connect-the-dots” world of XaDu, Xavi and Dusan have chosen not to allow this constriction to occur. While two points or players may make a musical line, there is nothing linear or conventionally narrative about this recording. Rather these are more points of departure soaring over seemingly vast and borderless soundscapes.
Using an approach found in contemporary jazz, XaDu first establish each composition with its intrinsic melodic and rhythmic components, then allow it to partially or fully unfold and deconstruct as they explore the vast sonic palette of guitar and drumkit. At this point they cross over into uncharted territories where, during the more improvisatory sections, the framework of the song is held together more by inference and muscle memory than continual chord structure or consistent beat.
Similar to the role the tamboura plays in Indian classical music, Dusan’s use of looped partially-octaved guitar creates a structured low frequency drone or riff that grounds the other instruments. This allows for extended musical explorations on his other pedaled guitar which can range from whispering implied skeletal imprints of melody to plate techtonic bursts of energy careening the listener through a maelstrom of sound. Xavi’s fluid playing is right in the vortex, coaxing riffs into life, laying chase to Dusan’s frenetic runs with his supremely musical tom work, or just falling away in a wash of cymbals when the wave of energy has crashed on the shore.
The spontaneity of this music is at once tangible and thrilling. There is a keen sense of bearing witness to the moment of its creation – as though this is a live performance and not a recording. Musical directions taken and decisions made all feel very “of the moment” yet fully informed giving the listener a strong sense of investment and making for a most compelling listen.
In the 18 months since the Moonjune studio release of the highly inspired “Am I Walking Wrong”, guitarist Dusan Jevtovic and his bandmates have been honing these compositions through constant touring. This live release comprises two separate performances with two different rhythm sections. It is especially interesting to hear alternate interpretations on 6 of the 14 tracks by the different lineups. The first 7 tracks were recorded live at ACLAM in Barcelona with Bernat Hernandez and Marko Djordjevic (the rhythm section on “Am I Walking Wrong”) while the remainder were recorded in Dusan’s hometown of Kragujevac in Serbia with bassist Vladimir Samardzic and drummer Amar Cesljar. Working with a fairly straightforward pallet of guitar/bass/drums, Dusan and company perform with great joy as they playfully reinterpret these tunes. With the main riff and melodic structure serving as the musical backbone, the band begins to deconstruct and reimagine the music through creative syncopated improvisation. Though I would categorize this music as an adventurous take on Post-Rock, both band incarnations stress the importance of playing off one another and letting the energy and flow of each track evolve almost organically – hallmarks of the best in jazz playing. The almost reverent silence of the audience in both locations during the performance attests to the captivating skill of these fine players. Both rhythm sections lay the groundwork for some of the most inventive and inspired guitarwork in the past decade. Fans of Robert Fripp, David Torn, Nels Cline, Jeff Beck and even Jimi Hendrix will be very pleased by this thoughtful set of smoldering tunes.
released 28 March 2015
Tunes 1-7 recorded live on July 4th 2014 by Jose Cattaneo
at ACLAM by Jose Cattaneo, Barcelona, Spain
DUSAN JEVTOVIC – guitar
BERNAT HERNANDEZ – bass
MARKO DJORDJEVIC- drums
Tunes 8-14 recorded live on April 24, 2014 by Milos Markovic
at Knjazevsko Srspki Teatar, Kragujevac, Serbia
DUSAN JEVTOVIC – guitar
VLADIMIR SAMARDZIC – bass
AMAR CESLJAR – drums
Mixed and Mastered by Joan Berenguer, Barcelona, Spain.
Video Link from Aclam, Barcelona:
“Am I Walking Wrong?”
Video Link from Aclam, Barcelona:
In The Last Moment:
Video Link from Kragujevac, Serbia
The spectacular international debut of Serbian born and Barcelona (Spain) based guitarist, Dusan Jevtovic (pronounce: Doo-shan Yeh-fto-vich), is an edge-of-your-seat thrill ride, full of twists and turns that you never see coming. Am I walking Wrong? showcases moments of immense raw, explosive power, interspersed with swatches of playful dissonance, contemplative ambiance, riveting r’n’b-tinged grooves, authoritative rock vamps, and more. The tight, abundantly-capable trio confidently stride through an engaging set of original barn-burners that are as catchy and accessible as they are spellbinding and unpredictable. Dusan wastes no time in making it clear that he is a vastly accomplished player, with a host of brilliant tones in his arsenal. Armed with a vocabulary most players would kill for (Oz Noy or John Frusciante meets Robert Fripp, maybe?), this session cooks on high heat, providing fans of stellar guitar work – especially the die-hard “tone freaks” out there! – plenty of choice morsels into which to sink their teeth. Continually pushing the envelope throughout a set which features a stream of unique, intriguing compositions, Jevtovic delivers the sonic goods with a style and flair that is mesmerizing; and his technique is flawless. Throughout this most enthralling of efforts, his axe work is anything other than what you might expect, but always brilliantly conceived and brilliantly executed. There are a ton of surprises lurking – and they’re all good!
Despite the songs’ innate complexities and genre-blurring proclivities, his backup never fails to perfectly compliment affairs. (…and in terms of musical stylings, they cover a lot of ground here.) Clearly, this is Dusan’s show, but wherever he ventures – and venture he does! – his band is always right there: perfectly in step with him. The structures and themes featured on this album are refreshingly unorthodox, sophisticated and compelling. The group handles tight corners effortlessly, and maneuvers assuredly around whatever obstacles get throw into their path. (…and, in that regard, there never seems to be a shortage: these guys just don’t sit still for very long!) Odd time signatures, sudden mood swings and radical changes of direction abound, but all are handled with an unshakeable grace and radiant poise. Without question, this is a group of highly-skilled musicians with tremendous chemistry who aren’t afraid to frolic anywhere; nor are they even the slightest bit hesitant or intimidated by any such prospects.
Beyond meeting the rigorous demands of building off of such an aggressive, ambitious set of musical blueprints, Dusan and company genuinely sound like they are having a blast. Even in their most tense, suspenseful moments, there is a sense of joy and inhibition that still manages to seep through. This is progressive music at its most creative, and its most artfully- and skillfully-conveyed … it just doesn’t get any fresher or any more fun. With this fabulous release, Dusan Jevtovic has immediately cast himself as a vital, articulate new voice on guitar – undeniably world-class, but nearly impossible to categorize or pigeonhole. His style and voicings are not confined by genre, or even hampered by preconception, but wreak of a level of excellence and an insatiable creative genius that most of his contemporaries can only hope to one day attain. Guitarists this profoundly original, spontaneous and gifted don’t show up too often.
On this album, Dusan Jevtovic is accompanied by Catalan fretless bass guitarist Bernat Hernández (a well known on the local jazz and pop scene in Barcelona), and Serbian drummer, based in New York, Marko Djordjevic (“world class drummer” and “a true innovator”, as quoted by Modern Drummer Magazine), who has played on over 40 albums and has thousands of live performances to his credit – having played with modern progressive icons such as Matt Garrison, Wayne Krantz, Jonah Smith, Gary Willis, Bill Frisell, Lionel Loueke, Aaron Goldberg, and others. Marko Djordjevic (pronounce Marko Georgevich) also leads his own jazz band SVETI, and has recently joined other two NYC based musicians under the MoonJune umbrella: Beledo on guitar and Clint Bahr, formerly of TriPod on 12-strings bass guitar, for another MoonJune’s project THE PLEBS.
… and the results of the mergence of these three huge talents smacks as much of originality and finesse as it does enchantment and stylistic diversity.
Am I Walking Wrong?, Dusan’s initial MoonJune Records release, is an advanced-level class in “Organic Chemistry” – signaling even more new directions for the label (and progressive music!), and documenting another “coming out party” for yet more great emerging talent. This music is simply too good to be ignored. Fans of smokin’ axe work will have plenty to savor here … dig in, while it’s hot !!
If a music curious alien landed tomorrow and you were given the task of explain to him (or her… or it?!) what contemporary improvisational music sounds like here on Earth, your best bet would be to give him a gift of Dusan Jevtovic’s ON THE EDGE. Recorded at the L’indi studios in Vic by Dusan and his capable and adventurous group (Sava Miletic, Bernat Hernandez, Xavi Reija) and mixed and mastered by J.P. Alcaro in NYC, ON THE EDGE bring you music that is truly interactive and open ended. The sense that anything can happen at any moment is tempered by the ensembles usage of motive development, which brings cohesion to even the most dense and complex passages in the music. This makes ON THE EDGE a challenging yet very enjoyable, and ultimately rewarding listening experience! So, hurry up and get your copy of ON THE EDGE today! You never know, the alien you encounter may not be so happy if he finds out you were not prepared for his arrival! SVETI
Dusan Jevtovic – guitar
Sava Miletic – fender rhodes
Bernat Hernandez – bass
Xavi Reija – drums