Nenad Gajin: Kec
Nenad Gajin (acoustic and electric guitars)
Nenad Gajin (acoustic and electric guitars),
Bojan Zulfikarpasic (Fender Rhodes, Xenophone [customized electric piano invented by Bojan Z.]), Hadrien Feraud (bass), Mokhtar Samba (drums).
Composed by Nenad Gajin & Bojan Zulfikarpasic.
Recorded: Serbia and France, 2008
Rating: 96/100 (learn more)
Fusion fans should drop what they are doing this very moment and obtain guitarist Nenad Gajin's Kec. I won't mind if you don't read another word of this review. Go get this music now! I will wait. Calling my bluff? OK. The title cut is the album in microcosm. The music is part Serbian folk, city funk, R&B and fiery jazz-rock fusion. I don't know enough about Serbian folk music to tell you what particular style Gajin and his band incorporate into this powerful mix. But I could easily envision a whole culture digging this swinging performance. From what I have read, Serbian folk music fuses its tradition with modern music. This quartet continues that fusion at very high temperatures and throws in everything and the kitchen sink. This music can barely contain its own dramatic electric riffs, outrageous unison playing, drumming up your spine, and contagious themes. There are Mahavishnu-like sections, Billy Cobham Spectrum-era sections, and even a nod to Coltrane. I think the short Cobham and Coltrane quasi-quotes were on purpose. And all of this is added to the infectious folk melodies. At times, Gajin sounds like Tommy Bolin. But he isn't the only player burning. Bassist Hadrien Feraud, the one musician I was familiar with before listening and the one whose name I can spell without triple-checking, is a major force on "Kec." He and Gajin engage in much of the unison playing previously mentioned, creating low-register funk assaults. Keyboardist Bojan Zulfikarpasic plays his ass off too. Drummer Mokhtar Samba is in your face from moment one. When people talk about the potential of world fusion, this is the type of music they have in mind. Only a protectionist would object. Now go out and grab a listen. OK?
Reviewer: Walter Kolosky