CD Review: Bojan Z - Soul Shelter


Bojan Z Soul Shelter
(Emarcy B006UKB0TE. CD Review by Tom Gray)

Last year saw a bumper crop of solo piano recordings, including impressive releases from Keith Jarrett, Gwilym Simcock, and Craig Taborn. On his second solo recording, Belgrade-born Bojan Z (Bojan Zulfikarpasic in full) continues this welcome trend, adding Fender Rhodes and subtle electronic washes to his armamentarium to stretch the boundaries of what can be expressed by an unaccompanied keyboardist.

As far as opening tracks go, they don’t get much better at pulling in the listener than ‘Full Half Moon’. A plaintively singing single-note line is accompanied by gently percussive rumblings on the piano body, before evolving into an absorbing exploration which takes in propulsive ostinatos, knotty counterpoint and full-bodied Rachmaninov-esque chords.

Elsewhere on this varied set, recorded in the Fazioli Concert Hall in Sacile, Italy,  Bojan Z’s lithe post-bop lines fit in seamlessly with Balkan dance rhythms, funky backbeats and folk-tinged laments. The album’s sublime closing number, Duke Ellington’s ‘On a Turquoise Cloud’, begins with gorgeously voiced stride playing, which is then overdubbed with electronically-manipulated piano to evoke a suitably dreamlike-state.

For its rhythmic verve, lucid melodies and sheer pianism, this is an album which invites repeated listening and serves as great starting point to anybody as yet unacquainted with this remarkably individual talent.

Soul Shelter will be released on Feb 27th/ Soul Shelter on Vimeo

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