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

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

Tim Smith RIP – Tim Smith, leader of the eccentric band Cardiacs, has died at the age of 59 after many years of health problems. Cardiacs was known for intense and complicated music that combined punk energy with the rhythmic and harmonic sophistication of progressive rock. » Read more

Judy Dyble RIP – Singer-songwriter Judy Dyble, who was a founding member of Fairport Convention and one of the distinctive voices of the 60s folk revival in Britain, has died at the age of 71. Her passing came at the end of a long illness, though which she continued to work. » Read more

Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more

Previously in Exposé...

Level ∏ - Electronic Sheep – Electronic Sheep is Uwe Cremer’s (aka Level ∏) second release and though firmly rooted in the Teutonic and Berlin-school of electronics, it is quite a departure from Entrance. Gone are the...  (2011) » Read more

Listen & discover

Print issues