Zonjic - Seldom Blues
to a jazzy flute which artist comes in mind? Hubert Laws, Herbie Man,
Lou Marini, Nestor Torres, Paul Rozmus, Dave McMurray? Since his album
"Neon" Alexander Zonjic is playing in the first row. I must
admit the flute is not the most popular instrument nowadays. But
Alexander Zonjic knows to rise his own popularity by performing over
100 shows a year. Did you know that he has an own nightclub in Detroit
and also host a five-day-a-week morning show on Detroit's Smooth Jazz
He has still the time to create a new
album scheduled for worldwide release on November 23, 2004. Reading
the players on this album is like studying the who-is-who of Smooth
Jazz: Bob James, Kirk Whalum, Angela Bofill, Peter White, James
Lloyd, founding member and genius of Peaces Of A Dream. Names are a
program. "Seldom Blues" is foremost entertaining. Listening
to this album is diverting. There is no sleeper.
"I wanted this record to be
upbeat", comments Alexander Zonjic, "More upbeat than any of
my other records. I wanted this to be more groove-oriented and include
a lot of tunes that would really work great live... "
What can you await, when Jeff Lorber, Earl Klugh, James Lloyd, Kirk
Whalum and Alexander Zonjic play a song together? Leave It With Me
is very contemporary. All players harmonize in an unpresuming
way just to produce this magnificent tune. Such an easygoing is only
possible with pros.
Seldom Blues is the title song and
also the name of Zonjic's night club.
"The club is part of a big renaissance here in Detroit, and it's
really created a wonderful vibe. I can't tell you how exciting it is
to be at the roof of something that has lifted the spirits of a city
so much." Understand this song as an appetizer for a visit to
this jewel of restaurant, which has a gold flute as logo. Here you can
meet Zonjic and his music, when he isn't touring. The grooving song is
featuring the lead vocalist KEM.
KEM has just started his solo career with his album Kemistry which has
already reached gold status. This song as a single release has the
potential to stay on the top for a long time.
AZ Does It has the signature of Jeff
Lorber and Kirk Whalum. Both wrote and produced the song. A fresh
instrumental reminding at the style of "Neon". Marvelous the duet between Zonjic's flute and Whalum's sax. There is much
Isabela opens the stage for the
peerless Peter White. A dynamic Spanish flavored song which awakes the
wish that this song may never end. Zonjic's flute jubilates like a
The song People Make The World Go Round was
originally composed by Thom Bell for the Stylistics. Together with
Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff he was one of the creators of the Philly
sound. A style which has still a great influence on today's Smooth
Jazz. The song was released on the self-named debut album of the
Stylistics in 1971. A classic which was often covered.
I am so thankful that Alexander Zonjic re-discovered Spill
The Wine originally played by Eric Burdon & War (1970).
This song is so full of finesses. A great pleasure to listen to. Kevin
Whalum. Kirk's brother, is the vocal interpret, a real reed-click.
"When I ran the idea of "Spill The Wine" by Jeff, he
just lit up," says Zonjic. "We did it with a little bit of humor, but we were still able to capture some of the magic of the
original. Then when it came time to do the vocals, I immediately
thought of Kevin Whalum. I've seen him perform live so many times.
He's theatrical. He's a force on the stage. It's just to cool what
Kevin did with the song."
Sweat is a funky stomping tune with a
short repeating melody line.
Under The Moon And Over The Sky has
its own story. The song was originally performed by Angela Bofill on
her GRP-debut album "Angie" (1978). A tremendous success for
the Lady with the Latin touch. "Angela and I have been working
together for a number of years," states Zonjic. "It's so
cool to be able to stay in this business long enough to be able to
work with someone you've been such a big fan of. I told her I was
going to do that tune on my next record, and I wanted her to have some
role in it". So here she is again.
A further creation of Jeff Lorber is Quantum.
Zonjic's choice between famous keyboardists of Smooth Jazz is
excellent. Bob James, Jeff Lorber and James Lloyd on one album is
unbeatable. But let's speak about the magician of flute himself. This
tune is a wonderful platform to show so many variations to perform his
flute. Overdubs, trills and more.
This goes on with the last tune Britters.
Both tunes are showcasing Zonjic's flute as lead instrument in an
uptempo way. His groove sounds fresh and swinging. Something to dance
and move on.
Personally I am very excited about his new album. It's really a
progress compared to "Reach For The Sky". This album is more
vivid, original, intelligent. It's my new favorite.