ponedjeljak, 9. siječnja 2017.

SEPTEMBER - Zadnja avantura (1976)

SEPTEMBER grew out of the short-lived supergroup project Jugoslavenska Pop Selekcija in September 1975, whose members included Tihomir Pop Asanović (organ), Janez Bončina (vocals, guitar), Braco Doblekar (percussion, congas) and Ratko Divjak (drums). Čarli Novak on bass and formally educated musician Pero Ugrin on electric violin and trumpet joined soon for the recording of the first album, ironically titled "Zadnja avantura". The album was recorded in February 1976 in Ljubljana and released shortly afterwards but passed largely unnoticed. This is in fact a pure gem of Yugoslavian jazz fusion that lacked popularity simply because there was no single hit song on it that would draw attention of the wider public. That said, this album is probably the first complete fusion release in ex- Yugoslavia that did not rely on the blues/R'n'B fundament, going instead further into free jazz exploration in a vein of Mahavishnu Orchestra or Return On Forever. Ugrin's electric violin has a dominant role in the album and influence from Stephane Grapelli or Jean Luc Ponty is obvious, which only adds a merit to it. The rhythm section is firm and playful in a jazz manner while Asanović gives important keyboards layers, especially his traditional Hammond sound. Bončina plays guitar, which is not much present, but in those few moments it fits nicely into compositions. The sound is uniform throughout the album without any particular song standing out, so there is a sense of a skillfully developed album concept. "Život nema pravila" is perhaps too similar to Time's famous booze ballad "Kralj alkohol" but not so as to accuse them of plagiarism. It is rather natural because Bončina and Dado Topić collaborated much together, which is evident here in a repeated performance of their co-authorship of "Ostavi trag". That song was previously included in Asanović solo album "Majko Zemljo" in 1974, but instead of female vocal of Josipa Lisac, here the male choir sings the intro before Bončina jumps in. The title track carries a good drums/percusion solo, and "Kanin" is sung in Slovene language (Boncina's mother tongue). "Zadnja avantura" is a brave and adventurous work which ranks among the most accomplished ex-Yugoslavian progressive rock music of the 1970s that is unjustly covered with dust and obscured. Jazz-rock enthusiasts are strongly encouraged to go for it if lucky enough to find this rare LP on the market. This album should be a part of any self-respecting prog rock and jazz collection. (from progarchives.com)

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