TIHOMIR POP ASANOVIC

Funk Jazz • Macedonia
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One of the best ex-Yugoslavian keyboards players (his speciality was Hammond organ). Tihomir was original line-up member of 'Time', also founding member of two jazz-rock bands 'Jugoslovenska Pop Selekcija' and 'September'. He also recorded two jazz-rock solo albums.

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TIHOMIR POP ASANOVIC Majko Zemljo album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Majko Zemljo
Funk Jazz 1974
TIHOMIR POP ASANOVIC Pop album cover 2.50 | 2 ratings
Pop
Funk Jazz 1976

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TIHOMIR POP ASANOVIC Majko Zemljo & Pop album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Majko Zemljo & Pop
RnB 2019

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TIHOMIR POP ASANOVIC Pop

Album · 1976 · Funk Jazz
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This is the second solo album of renowned keyboardist/organist Tihomir Pop Asanovic, issued in 1976.

Asanovic took some extra time during his engagement with JUGOSLOVENSKA POP SELEKCIJA, a short-lived supergroup that gathered a dozen or so important Yugoslavian musicians, to record his second solo album. He kept his standard collaborators, J. Boncina, P. Ugrin and B. Doblekar in the team. These formed the core around which the band SEPTEMBER was about to release their debut the same year. Drummer R. Divjak (ex-TIME) was also kept in from the previous album "Majko zemljo". Instead of Josipa Lisac, Asanovic invited here another celebrated female jazz and rock vocalist, Zdenka Kovacicek. The vocal tracks were shared among her, Boncina and Asanovic (This time around, Dado Topic was missing).

"Pop" (Asanovic's nickname), as the vinyl was titled, is far less interesting work than its predecessor. It is not that the sound is more "pop", but the style is overall less challenging and set more into the mainstream crossover jazz/R'n'B territory. That would not be a serious problem if the material were better composed and arranged. In this way, it all sounds a bit lame and does not provoke a listener.

Some songs like "Plejboj" (Playboy), "Hiljadu zena" (A Thousand Women) and "O ljudima danas, o ljudima juce" (On People Today, On People Yesterday) are rather banal. On the instrumental side, it is very good record. Asanovic and Ugrin are brilliant especially in keyboards/trumpet dueling tracks, "Skakavac" (Grasshopper) and lengthy improvisation "Ekspres Novi Sad". "Vremena je malo" (There's Little Time) with its almost honky-tonk piano sounds a bit like taken from a scene shot in a drunken Western saloon. Zdenka Kovacicek gave good singing in "Mali crni brat" (Little Black Brother) and "Dodji drugi put" (Come Another Time), but she is surely capable of better things to do.

TIHOMIR POP ASANOVIC Majko Zemljo

Album · 1974 · Funk Jazz
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
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Having left TIME after their phenomenal first album, Tihomir Pop Asanovic joined them again during the World Youth Festival, held in (East) Berlin 1973, on which occasion he played his rewarded composition "Berlin".

The following year he recorded his first solo album "Majko Zemljo" (Eng. "Mother Earth") which is celebrated as the first recorded solo album of a rock keyboardist in former Yugoslavia! Also in 1974 Asanovic formed a super-group called JUGOSLOVENSKA POP SELEKCIJA (Yugoslavian Pop Selection, JPS) which gathered a dozen or so prominent rock and jazz musicians of the time, who performed at many concerts in ex-Yugoslavia, including the popular "Boom" Pop Festivals in Ljubljana '74 and Zagreb '75. JPS would transform into SEPTEMBER in late 1975, but before that Asanovic invited many of these musicians for his solo LP, which basically consisted of the old material previously worked out with JPS.

The title track is a strong and catchy jazz-funk number with Clavinet and brass arrangements where Janez Boncina (SEPTEMBER) and Dado Topic (TIME) shared lead vocals. "Balada o liscu" ("The Ballad Of The Leaves") is a nice, bluesy jazz ballad with Topic's lead vocals singing about falling leaves and passing of life which is quite spoiled by excessive use of a synthesizer. I guess it was a novelty at that time so Asanovic could not resist playing with it more than necessary.

"Berlin I" is excellent jazz instrumental with perfect brass melody, superb Hammond, Asanovic's signature instrument, and trumpet solo by Pero Ugrin. "Tema za pop LP" ("Theme For a Pop LP") is another instrumental featuring female scat vocals, electric piano, Clavinet and Hammond. Nothing special but pleasant enough to listen to. There is a pure classic jazz feel in this song. A somewhat stupid title "Rokenrol dizajner" ("Rock'n'Roll Designer") uncovers a brilliant short funky and rhythmic track with Boncina/Topic singing the title words interchangeably, while Divjak and Doblekar provide strong percussion parts.

Another slow ballad "Ostavi trag" ("Leave the Trace") features Josipa Lisac as lead female vocalist and her performance is excellent. Again there is too much synthesizers here, but improvement comes with fine piano and at the closing part a wonderful soprano sax solo, which recalls some Coltranean feel. Too bad this part is very short. This song would resurface on the first SEPTEMBER album "Zadnja avantura" two years later. D. Topic sings lead with female backing in the Latino-flavored "Telepatija" ("Telepathy") sounding similar to SANTANA at times. A danceable, catchy tune but nothing exceptional. The closing "Berlin II" instrumental is not as good as the first one although it showcases the jolly sound of Clavinet again.

This is a very good jazz-rock album with certain funk and R'n'B influences that does not require close attention or extraordinary jazz knowledge as preconditions for enjoyment. However, the keyboard nerds will have enough time to explore the sounds of Hammond, piano, Clavinet and vintage synths played by one of the best ex- Yugoslavian musicians during the "golden" progressive era of mid-70s.

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