VASIL HADŽIMANOV — Vasil Hadžimanov Band : Lines in Sand (review)

VASIL HADŽIMANOV — Vasil Hadžimanov Band : Lines in Sand album cover Album · 2019 · World Fusion Buy this album from MMA partners
4/5 ·
js
How does one put out an interesting fusion record these days? Once the new kid on the block, fusion has been around for almost 60 years now, what can someone do that’s new in the fast approaching third decade of the new century. A good place to start would be to check out, “Lines In Sand”, the new CD by Balkan keyboardist Vasil Hadzimanov. Here we find music that combines influences from the Balkans and Middle East with American jazz, funk and RnB plus plenty of modern day sounds and rhythms via the youthful world of electronica and European nu jazz and you end up with a creation that opens new doors and presents fusions of fusion that you haven’t heard before.

Vasil Hadzimanov has been performing and composing professionally for almost 25 years now, and his group featured on here has been together since 2001. The fact that these guys have known each other for some time shows in their intuitive interactions. For being a fusion record, “Lines in Sand” is gratefully short on long winded solos. There are plenty of barn burning rides for Vasil and his band mates when needed, but often they eschew the solos for a more team oriented approach to improvisation. In that respect they recall classic Weather Report at their best. Of the solo spots themselves, honorable mention must go to guest saxophonist Rastko Obradovic and his Coltrane like excursions.

It’s the variety and the creativity within that variety that makes “Lines in Sand” work. Here is a band that can go from swinging acoustic post bop to Balkan techno within one song and make it sound as organic and natural as a hearty bowl of super crunch granola.
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