Blue Balkan: Then & Now

Blue Balkan: Then & Now

by Larry VuckovichLarry Vuckovich


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Pianist Larry Vuckovich revisits his landmark 1980 recording on this combined reissue and new release. Prefiguring the much-lauded work of Dave Douglas and the Tiny Bell Trio, guitarist Brad Shepik, and even John Zorn, the Yugoslavian-born Vuckovich combines the ethnic melodies and rhythms from his native Balkans with modal jazz. Never as avant-garde as his contemporaries, Vuckovich nonetheless pushes the boundaries of both jazz and folk styles. The original tracks featured the brilliant vibe playing of Bobby Hutcherson, who unfortunately does not reprise his role on the four new pieces. Nonetheless, with the adroit violinist Eric Golub returning and the capable hands of Tommy Kesecker replacing Hutcherson on marimba, the new tracks on Blue Balkan are superb additions that set this album securely in a modern context. Taken as a whole, these are angular, cubist, post-bop compositions reminiscent of late-'60s McCoy Tyner and John Coltrane. The gypsy-style melodies, authentically believable on their own, work effortlessly with the modal underpinning of Vuckovich's writing, making for an edgy and often incendiary listen. A forgotten connection to world music, fans of Dizzy Gillespie's Latin jazz forays and even the downtown New York Knitting Factory scene would do well to check this out.

Product Details

Release Date: 02/26/2002
Label: Tetrachord
UPC: 0725543068125
catalogNumber: 681
Rank: 198054

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Larry Vuckovich   Primary Artist,Piano
John Heard   Acoustic Bass
Eddie Marshall   Drums
Paul Breslin   Acoustic Bass
Jeff Chambers   Acoustic Bass
Vince Delgado   Percussion
Eric Golub   Violin,Viola
Bobby Hutcherson   Marimbas,Vibes
Eddie Moore   Drums
Tommy Kesecker   Marimbas

Technical Credits

Dave Brubeck   Composer
Larry Vuckovich   Arranger,Executive Producer
Steve Atkins   Engineer
David Benoit   Composer
Phil Edwards   Engineer
Herb Wong   Liner Notes
Sanna Craig   Executive Producer
Russ Freeman   Composer

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