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World Music CD Reviews Europe

Vlada Maricic Trio & Friends

By Robert Kaye
Published March 13, 2007

Romano Cubano
Mascom MCR CD035

Serbian pianist Vladimir Maricic has performed in over a dozen festivals across Europe and released seven albums since 1998. This latest project is a commingling of earthy Balkan Gypsy vocals with scorching Latin jazz. Maricic’s piano montunos are right on the mark; it’s as if he studied with some of Cuba’s top pianists like Lazaro Valdés (perhaps he did). Electric bassist Bata Bozanic and drummer Petar Radmilovi are unquestionably talented and, despite hailing from lands far removed from the steamy tropics, cook up some great AfroCubano grooves. Vocalists Ljubiša Stojanovic Luis and Ognjen Ogi Radivojevic provide the juxtaposed Gypsy element. There are several standout tracks, some featuring Serbian vocals. “Djelem Djelem” is a funkified, syncopated arrangement of a popular Gypsy or Roma hymn. The instrumental “Suite Andalusia” is another standout. If you can get acclimated to hearing East European vocals immersed with Latin Jazz, this album gets a thumbs-up.