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New albums from Atanasovski & Dharmawan

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    Posted: 01 Mar 2021 at 10:16pm
VASKO ATANASOVSKI - alto & soprano saxophone, flute (Slovenia) 
SIMONE ZANCHINI - accordion (Italy) 
MICHEL GODARD - tuba, serpent (France) 
BODEK JANKE - drums & tabla (Poland/Germany) 
Special Guest: ARIEL VEI ATANASOVSKI - cello (Slovenia) 

The Adrabesa Quartet consists of four exceptional musicians, brought together by its long-standing founder and leader: composer and saxophonist, Vasko Atanasovski.

Vasko is a well-known and well-established European maestro, having collaborated with renowned musicians such as Hindi Zahra, Vlatko Stefanovski, and Living Color, among a celebrated career. His masterful, unpretentious approach to his instrument has seen him embrace a host of diverse genres, exhibiting a fluency and grace which compliments any musical setting.

The quartet's musicians are among the leading virtuoso instrumentalists in the world. Simone Zanchini is an Italian accordionist, who has been collaborating with Vasko since the early part of this new millennium. (Simone is the only founding member still with Vasko since the Adrabesa Quartet's initial incarnation, back in 2005.) With the two having collaborated on numerous albums and concerts, Zanchini's advanced musical stylings are a superb compliment to Atanasovski's polished melodic sensibilities.

A virtyoso on his instrument, Zanchini's eccentric brilliance has garnered praise and recognition. In 2016, he received the coveted Orpheus Award – for "Best Jazz Album of the Year," in Italy. Simone's commanding presence has propelled what has become an extensive resume of collaborations; many with noted jazz musicians such as Bill Evans, Adam Nussbaum, John Patitucci, Jim Black, Paolo Fresu, Gianluigi Trovesi and Javier Girotto, among many. He regularly performs across the globe, and is a featured soloist with the Milan Scala Orchestra.

The Adrabesa Quartet's tuba player, Michel Godard, hails from France. Michel has enjoyed a distinguished career: one which has seen him work with many great artists, including Kenny Wheeler, Ray Anderson, Michel Portal, Louis Sclavis, Henry Texier, Enrico Rava, Michael Riessler, Rabih Abou-Khalil and many others. Godard has also collaborated with Vasko for many years; including a most recent performance at the 2020 Maribor Festival – where the two were paired as featured artists, backed by the Slovenian Philharmonic String Chamber Orchestra.

The unit's fourth member – who plays percussion and Indian tabla drums – is Bodek Janke. Currently residing in Poland, Bodek is the quartet's newest member. His is also a career marked by accomplisment and embellished by stellar names. In 2008, he was awarded the "Jazzpreis Baden- Württemberg", the highest award for jazz musicians in Germany and the "German Records Critics' Award" ("Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkri- tik"), for his work on Olivia Trummer's "Westwind."

In 2010, he was honored as "Best Soloist of the Year" at the Neuer Deutscher Jazzpreis competiton, in Mannheim. He, too, has collaborated with scads of great artists, most notably of which are David Liebman, Ben Monder, Dave Binney and Billy Harper.

After assembling the group for an ongoing, inspirational Melem (translation: "Soul Remedy") project back in 2017, there was an organic chemistry which quickly emerged. Inspired, Vasko and company decided to produce an exquisite musical document, highlighting their own original works and incorporating an assortment of regional ethnic musical dialects. Compiling a collection of pieces as quirky and unconventional as the quartet's instrumentation (sax, accordion, tuba and percussion), "Phoenix" stands as a shimmering testimony to both their considerable individual talents and corporate inventiveness. Inspired by some divergent musical roots -- combined with a sense of nostalgia and genuine passion for their craft -- the aptly titled album signifies the rebirth of a unit with a long-standing reputation for creative excellence across Eastern Europe

Joining the quartet's magical sonic adventures is special guest, Ariel Vei Atanasovski. Ariel is Vasko Atanasovski's 17-year-old son: a gifted young cellist, and ambitious understudy of renowned cellist, Professor Niko Sajko, at the Maribor Conservatory of Music and Ballet, and Slovenian virtuoso, Igor Mitrovic (also a Professor), at the Klagenfurt Music Conservatory. A musical prodigy, Ariel has remained active in various fields of music from a young age, and can already boast of numerous performances, international awards and original compositions. Boasting a musical maturity which belies his age, Ariel's contributions only add to "Phoenix"s allure.
DWIKI DHARMAWAN Acoustic Piano, Mini Moog, Fender Rhodes, Harmonium, Occasional Vocal & Ambient Noises (Indonesia)
BORIS SAVOLDELLI Vocals, Vocal Effects, Live Electronics (Italy)
MARKUS REUTER Touch Guitars® AU8, Live Electronics (Germany)
ASAF SIRKIS Drums, Cymbals, Occasional Ambient Noise (Israel)

The tactic of bringing together exceptional musicians for spontaneous recording in an idyllic setting of La Casa Murada, a XI Century farmhosue transformed in temple of music and recording studio, has resulted in a growing body of work that does much to define the identity of Moonjune. Hari Ketiga, under the nominal leadership of Indonesian keyboard wizard Dwiki Dharmawan, takes this tactic into another realm entirely, building a many-layered artistic construction out of improvisation, reassembly, grand concepts, and unfettered creativity. The foundation of this massive work is a series of improvisations at La Casa Murada on May 17, 2017 involving Dharamawan (piano, electric piano, synthesizer, harmonium), Boris Salvoldelli (vocals and effects), Markus Reuter (Touch Guitar and electronics), and Asaf Sirkis (drums). These improvisations, some of which were quite lengthy, were then edited into backing tracks (in a manner somewhat like what Teo Macero used on Bitches Brew and other Miles Davis albums) by Pavkovic, and then Salvoldelli added more layers of vocals in collaboration with writer Alessandro Ducoli, who helped develop a cosmic storyline involving the destiny of the planet Earth and all its inhabitants. Dharmawan contributed some field recordings from Indonesia for another layer of sound. The result is a double CD set two and a half hours in length full of music that has been astonishing listeners since parts of it started sneaking out a couple of months ago. This is a stunning example of what can happen when musicians are encouraged to reach beyond their comfort zones, to do things they might never have tried in more structured situations. Dharmawan shows himself to be incredibly versatile, with some sections that are achingly lyrical, richly tonal, and full of emotion and other parts that are chaotic and filled with some of the strangest synthesizer playing you’ll ever hear. Salvoldelli is of course known for using his voice in unconventional ways, so his contributions are less surprising. Reuter is in territory only slightly removed from some of his more unconstrained previous work. He provides ambient washes much of the time, but also screaming feedback with really insane effects applied. Sirkis is often the keeper of the tempo in the absence of a dedicated bass player, devising some fascinating rhythms that don’t adhere to conventional patterns. All in all, there are too many points of interest to go into. Suffice to say that it’s never boring or predictable, and much of Hari Ketiga sounds like nothing you’ve ever heard before. With individual tracks running all the way up to 34 minutes in length, listening to it may seem akin to binge watching an entire TV series in one sitting, but people do that all the time, so maybe there are listeners with an attention span up to this task. With Salvoldelli’s vocal antics, it’s hard not to pay attention when this music is playing, so casual listening is a challenge, but the depth of sound and creativity here should provide new discoveries for years to come.  - Jon Davis, Exposé Magazine
Vasko Atanasovski Adrabesa Quartet - Promo Video
Dwiki Dharmawan Hari Ketiga - The Earth
Dwiki Dharmawan Hari Ketiga - The Man
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