Exposé Online banner

Nikolov - Ivanović Undectet — Frame and Curiosity
(C Label CL004, 2019, CD / DL)

by Jon Davis, Published 2020-09-15

Frame and Curiosity Cover art

With their Undectet, Vladimir Nikolov and Srđan Ivanović have hit upon a powerful example of the large jazz ensemble. Frame and Curiosity is the group’s second album, and it shows a talented bunch of musicians playing creative and colorful music that fits broadly in the jazz tent. It’s not quite a traditional “big band,” as the brass complement consists of one each of trumpet, trombone, french horn, and tuba rather than four each of trumpets and trombones; the woodwind section features three players who double up on saxes, flutes, and clarinets, along with special guest “Magic” Malik Mezzadri on flute and vocals; the rhythm section is made up of drums (Ivanović), bass, keyboards (Nikolov), accordion, and occasional acoustic guitar (Nikolov again). Nikolov is the composer and arranger, and these eleven tunes touch on a variety of flavors, from swinging post-bop to latin and rock-tinged rhythms. The arrangements avoid chaos and dissonance, presenting easy grooves and lovely melodies that won’t offend but manage to avoid sounding too smooth. There are some nice touches where a modern chamber music influence can be heard, and the frequent use of flute and clarinet, along with the tuba and accordion, gives the music a distinctive sound that’s not quite like any other band I’ve heard. All of the soloists acquit themselves well, and Magic Malik’s flute vocalizing is a similar technique to that made famous by Ian Anderson, though his playing sounds very little like anything you’d hear in Jethro Tull, and his voice reminds me a bit of Airto Moreira. His use of echo is one of the few electronic touches on the album. Frame and Curiosity is a great entry into the modern canon of large ensemble jazz recordings, and quite a nice listen.

Filed under: New releases, 2019 releases

Related artist(s): Nikolov - Ivanović Undectet

More info

Latest news

25 Views of Worthing Finally Gets Released – A while ago, we wrote about the discovery of a "long lost" Canterbury-style gem by a band called 25 Views of Worthing. And now we're pleased to find out that Wind Waker Records has released their music on an LP. » Read more

Audion Is Back in Business – Our esteemed colleague Alan Freeman has restarted Audion Magazine after a seven year hiatus. The new incarnation is available online on their Bandcamp site. Audion's history goes back to 1984, and included 58 issues up to 2013. Issue #59 is available now, and #60 is in the works. » Read more

Romantic Warriors IV – Krautrock (Part 2) Is in the Works – Zeitgeist Media, the people who have brought us the great series of documentary films chronicling the history of progressive rock, are working on the second installment of their examination of German music. Krautrock 2 will focus on artists from Münich such as Guru Guru, Amon Düül II, Xhol Caravan, Kraan, Witthüser & Westrupp, and Popol Vuh. » Read more

Simeon Coxe RIP – Simeon Coxe, best known for his experimental electronics in the band Silver Apples, has died at the age of 82. The band's 1968 debut album set the stage for both German electronic music and experimental punk music a decade later. Coxe died on September 8 from pulmonary fibrosis. » Read more

Gary Peacock RIP – Legendary bassist Gary Peacock, veteran of many recordings and performances with Paul Bley, George Russell, Roland Kirk, Bill Evans, Tony Williams, and many more. » Read more

Previously in Exposé...

Steve Howe - The Haunted Melody – The Yes/Asia guitarist realizes a lifelong ambition by creating the perfect jazz setting with son, Dylan Howe on drums and Ross Stanley on Hammond B3. The arrangements across the stellar recording...  (2009) » Read more

Listen & discover

Print issues