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(52:11, Moonjune Records)
TRACK LIST: 1. No Answer 8:06 2. Angel / Al Aire - Soko Bira 8:52 3. Ohrid 9:26 4. New Pop 9:00 5. Babe 4:31 6. Briga 10:00 7. Gracias Y Perdon - Outro 2:16 LINEUP: Dusan Jevtovic - guitars Vasil Hadzimanov - keyboards Pera Krstajic - bass Pedja Milutinovic - drums
Prolusion. Serbian composer and guitarist Dusan JEVTOVIC have been an active entity in the European scene for some time by now, primarily following his relocation to Barcelona, Spain some ten years ago. He released his first solo album "On the Edge" back in 2009 through L'Indi Records. After this he signed to US label Moonjune Records, who have since released an additional small handful of albums from 2013 and onward. "Live at Home" is his most recent album, and was released at the start of 2018.
Analysis. Live albums are always a challenging task to cover, as the music itself is usually well known from albums while it can be difficult to try to establish what to focus on for a live performance. Comparing the live versions of songs with the studio versions isn't all that productive either: After all, if you want the studio version, there will be studio albums that one can purchase. As far as the style of music is concerned, Jevtovic as a live artist is perhaps a bit closer to jazzrock than what was the case with his latest studio album. Having a full rhythm section available do change the dynamics of the material somewhat, and at least for me this does emphasize the rock characteristics of the material a bit, even if the instrument is often used more along an approach one would expect from a jazz fusion band. The guitar and the keyboards share the limelight here, on occasion playing off from each other by way of contrast, the guitar providing the darker, grainier sounds and the keyboards the finer elegant ones. There are also multiple instances of the keyboard being the lead instrument while the guitar has the role as the provider of delicate, supplemental sounds, as well as the other way around. Those fond of expressive sections gets their fill of those as well, and while not all that often there are moments where the music gets challenging to the point of almost being abrasive. A tight rhythm section with room and space for being both adventurous and expressive on occasion is the proverbial icing on the cake here, and on the cuts captured on this CD the entire band comes across as both tight and accomplished. Personal taste will have a lot to say on how well one enjoys this music or not, personally I'm most fond of the aptly named New Pop on this live album. It is an interesting experience to follow the development of a theme with a pop/rock foundation that stretch out to a fine, almost improvisational sounding jazzrock affair and then seguing back to the start again.
Conclusion. Live albums can be a hit or a miss, depending on many factors. For an instrumental unit such as this one, where performance skills and following each other tightly is essential, "Live at Home" comes across as quite the successful production. It showcase perfectly the skills of the band as a live unit, and that the material functions well also outside of a studio environment. A good place to start if you want to get familiar with the music of Dusan Jevtovic, and a CD to take note of for fans of jazz fusion and jazzrock.
Progmessor: March 30th 2018
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