Vladimir Samardžić – Catching The Wind (SKC NS, 2022)
SKCNS published 105th release, Vladimir Samardzic “Catching the Wind“
Vladimir Samardžić – Catching the Wind (SKC NS, 2022)
“Vladimir Samardžić’s new album “Catching the Wind”, in the format of a guitar trio, presents him as a strong author with a clear stylistic vision. From the first composition “Grisignana” and the magical voice of Thana Aleksa, Vladimir invites the listener on a journey that is hard to resist. Musically different and exciting paths, atmospheres and images leave no room for doubt and indifference.
Brazilian guitarist Marco Antonio da Costa gives a specific original color to the first part of the album, while in the second part, Vladimir’s old friend Nenad Gajin performs excitingly and uncompromisingly on electric guitar. Both bring a unique sound and energy. For this recording, Vladimir teamed up again with his favorite drummer Dado Marinković, creating a strong and rich rhythmic basis, while the collaboration with percussionist Andrej Krstić in two duet numbers brought new and interesting musical landscapes on this windy tour.
The leader of the journey on four strings is in no hurry, but skilfully directs the participants and communicates with them with his inspired bass lines. In the end, leaving Siena, the traveler full of impressions has something to take with him, to remember, to feel, with the desire to return to the beginning as soon as possible, to Grožnjan, where it all started.”
MILOŠ ZUBAC – Serbian songwriter, poet, writter, blogger
I don’t know if there is any musical genre for which the travel experience is more important than jazz. And I don’t know if there is an expression in music that is richer in cosmopolitan spirit. Perhaps this is because jazz, in the wide range of musical styles known to this day, already in the last century acquired the status of a kind of dialect, a meta-speech, which – although it can also use words in a narrower sense – is basically non-verbal, and which all its lovers and connoisseurs understand and can use it with each other, regardless of nationality, skin color, religion and other preferences. Jazz is equally intellectual, emotional and instinctive and therefore engages all three key centers of expression in man. However, if someone had to introduce it in one word, the only appropriate word would be the one from the beginning – travel. Authors and performers devoted to jazz are almost as a rule planetary travelers, ready to stray geographically far away, in search of impressions that they will later use as an impulse for creation. On the other hand, the compositions they create and those in whose interpretation they passionately participate – are themselves based in form and content on the possibility of an exciting and unpredictable journey. There are mandatory reference points – the beginning, the end and experiences between the two – but what will happen along the way always remains the most attractive promise and unknown when you use the communicative channels and expressive means of jazz.
It is no coincidence that Serbian bass player and composer Vladimir Samardžić started his first self-titled album in the past twelve years while traveling. Among other activities and obligations, Vladimir used this considerable piece of free author’s time in a strong creative life for dedicated mentoring work and concert and studio collaboration with other musicians. Listening to his new album, Catching the Wind, will tell you that this sensitive man of superb musical talent was only really indebted to the artist in himself, because he used all those years in which he did not publish to help others and thus, quite naturally, gained the recognition and respect that he commands significantly further from the music genre he opted for. More precisely, to which he was bound by fate.
The creative capsule burst during Samardžić’s stay in Istria, in the town of Grožnjan, which appears in three titles on the album, written in the Italian form of Grisignana. Mediterranean toponyms will appear again in songs as inspiring motifs, in the form of Tuscany and Siena. The trip to Grožnjan not only brought Samardžić the initial spark for compositions but – as often happens with people who cherish music in themselves and unmistakably recognize it in others – enabled contact with guitarist Marco Antonio da Costa and singer Thana Alexa. It was her voice, not quite of this world, that opened the album with an incantation of summoning earthly and otherworldly forces to be integrally involved in the compositions that will follow. The second geographical axis of Samardžić’s edition is Latin American, and the third one is made up of interweaving of African and European influences. Of course, a person who grows up in the Balkans feels very well what contact culture is, and Samardžić’s tendency to inherit various folklore and multinational incentives that are refracted through the prism of his urban consciousness and his distinct gift as a composer is in accordance with the settings of the modern understanding of jazz, but it is also completely in the spirit of the complex climate in which he grew up as a man and as an artist.
Catching the Wind is a multi-layered work that cannot be revealed by one thorough listening. It’s a general point, but it should be emphasized in a time of insatiable hunger for consumable instant experiences, an album like this cannot be understood nor can the full extent of its meanings be felt and adopted if approached superficially. In an age where it seems that nothing is sacred anymore, Vladimir Samardžić is looking for a dedicated and fundamental listener, and when he finds one, he generously shares with him the fruits of his great creative and performing talent. As he shares the beauty of working together with guitarist Nenad Gajin, drummer Dado Marinković and percussionist Andreja Krstić. Their mutual fusion – and this is a word that has long been domesticated precisely in jazz – made it possible, along with the extraordinary production of Vladimir Moritz, for the man who for more than ten years shared his knowledge and skill unsparingly with others, to finally record the author’s album that he missed as much as and Serbian jazz music.
Sensitive, layered, passionate, pulsating, intense, associatively riotous – that’s Catching the Wind by Vladimir Samardžić. But behind all that, beats his bare love, for music, for life and man. It would be quite predictable to say at the end that Vladimir Samardžić recorded a world album. Such impressions will certainly not pass him by. That is true, but jazz does not love predictability. That’s why it’s better to turn things around and say that Catching the Wind is essentially what it has to be above all else – Samardžić’s deeply personal work of art of exceptional value, in which the whole world can take a dignified reflection.
June 23, 2022
BRANIMIR LOKNER - Music critic, TIME MACHINE MUSIC
“Samardžić plays in his own way, he is not a “slave” to the rules or any so-called performer “standardization”, already through his original approach, interpretatively aggressive to a good extent, he creates with a sure hand a wisely designed complete arrangement and unique performance process.
“Catching The Wind” reveals a convincing Samardžić, sure of himself and his knowledge, his playing has positive elements of aggressiveness, which, when performed in the way he himself promoted, represent a true rarity on today’s international jazz scene. I don’t think there is any need to add, how “Catching The Wind” is a quality and inspiring album.”
BODAN ARSOVSKI – LEB I SOL bass player, composer, producer
“Mature. Powerful. Various. The Album “Catching the Wind”, in terms of production, authorship and playing, can stand “side by side” with the some of the world’s most famous contemporary jazz releases. This is not the usual “Bass album”, it is full of music with different sensibilities and that makes it special. I listened to the entire material in one breath. Bravo!”
RATKO ZJAČA – Internationally acclaimed jazz guitarist, composer, professor
“Vladimir’s new album is full of great compositions and group interplay. Enjoyable and inspiring. I haven’t heard of such a fresh and interesting project from this part of Europe for a long time.”
DANNY MO MORIS – Bass player, professor at Berklee College of Music
“Beautiful music. Lush melodies layered on the top of a thick groove with virtuosic bass playing by Vladimir Samardzic. This will bring you joy, just press play. Bravo Maestro!”
FERNANDO HUERGO – Bass player, professor at Berklee College of Music
“Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful record with me. I love it. Great compositions. Wonderful use of vocals, the guitarist and drummer are great! Masterful bass playing! Groovy, musical, great chops, tasteful, beautiful sound, really amazing. Thanks again Vladimir! I will keep listening to it! Congrats! “
JOHN RILEY - World famous jazz drummer and educator
“Your bass sound and playing is world class throughout. Congratulations!”