Ratco Zjaca reviews

Ratko Zjaca & Stanislav Mitrovic – review

Shades of Spirit – Ratko Zjaca & Stanislav Mitrovic


Classification – Ambient Ethnic Jazz

We have eagarly awaited this album for quite some time and after having played it constantly for a week it is still avoiding categarisation. You could say it was new music, certainly you would not of heard this combination of sounds ten years ago.

Shades of Spirit ranges from almost shamanic type rhythms, through rootsy ethnic trances, past complex intertwined melodies, all tinged with jazz echoes. Hmm.. perhaps we need to go deeper. Ratko Zjaca & Stanislav Mitrovic provide all the music on the album and the title “Shades of Spirit” is no accident, if you play the blues guitar with your Soul, you play the fretless guitar with your Spirit and this really does describe this album. Put it on the deck, turn on, volume up, and your speakers start to belch sunshine.

The CD kicks off with a seven minute track La Caldera De Taburienta. While the early tracks establish a superb ethnic outdoor jazzy feel the stunning fifth track, “Tuto E Come Prima” has some of the most sensitive fretless work I’ve heard to date, with a tight backing which feels like its about to explode but just keeps simmering away.

Track seven see’s Ratko’s jazz influences breaking through (believe me he is a stunning jazz guitarist). Stanislav provides a very interesting synth harmonica part to this tea time jazz excursion. Just when you thought all was safe along comes “Murphy’s Tango” a mad mix of madrigal beat / jig like riffs / french accordion, you have to hear it!

The whole thing winds up with “Count Up” which is the sort of thing Weather Report might have done if Zarwinul had ever got hold of a fretless guitar.

This is a very pleasant album, every song is well crafted and structured, the playing is immaculate, the combination of Ratko and Stanislav a perfect duet. Go buy some sunshine!

Review – Jahloon, 2004

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