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Nikolov-Ivanovic Undectet feat. Magic Malik

Frame and Curiosity

Review by Gary Hill

This is quite an intriguing set. Overall it lands under fusion, but it often shifts more toward the pure jazz side. Still, we almost always put fusion under progressive rock. There is a lot of world music here. Accordion is a frequent instrument used on this set. That's one of two instruments (bagpipes being the other) I generally don't like. It works here. There is only one tune on the disc that doesn't really appeal to me, and that's because of the vocals. If I can like music with accordion, that says a lot.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2020  Volume 2 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
L'étranger
Cafe type sounds open this. After a short time, it explodes out into some killer fusion from there. The piece evolves and grows and works through different movements as it continues. I particularly like the flute and bass dominated section later. The bass sound on that works so well, and the flute jamming is incendiary. A drum solo takes over as it approaches the four-minute mark and holds it for more than a minute-and-a-half. A piano bit comes in from there to herald a new movement set in some potent fusion zones.
Timbre and Prayer
Kettle-drum-like sounds along with some dramatic jazz stylings open this piece. It begins to change and grow. As it continues there is a section that feels decidedly old-school jazz in nature. That runs through and drops back for a more sedate movement. The track keeps working forward after that, gradually building upward. We're taken on quite a ride and different instruments take the lead at different points long that road.
Komšija
The fast paced opening section here is just so cool. It drives on with some potent fusion style and charm. A dropped back movement around the two-minute mark gives the bass a chance to shine. It powers back out into some smoking hot jazz jamming after a time as the song continues to shift and change. A new movement takes over near the end to close it in style.
Across the Threshold
Piano brings this into being. The cut builds out in a bit mellower ways but still has so much cool and charm. The melodic nature of this piece serves it well.
Anonymous
Fast paced piano starts this number, and other elements threaten to explode early. While it doesn't shift a dramatic blast like it feels it might, it turns toward a different up-tempo movement after a bit. The cut starts to develop in exploratory ways from there. It drops back to a weird flute-driven interlude later. I'm not overly crazy about that part of the piece. As it comes out of there we get some hints of cafe music in the mix. It gets into another powerful movement later that doesn't stay around long, but serves as a dramatic close to the piece.
Carefree
Intricate acoustic guitar opens this, and the cut works out from there in style. There is more of that potent guitar work further down the road, too. This thing has a lot of different flavors and sounds as it continues, but it's a bit more understated and mellow than a lot of the other music here, but it does get more powerful later in the piece. There is more of that cafe sound at times, too. This really does feel "carefree."
Long Ago
This cut is very much set in that cafe styled sound. It's a short little interlude that lends some serious variety. 
Far Away
As this starts it feels like an extension or continuation of the previous piece. It gradually moves forward by expanding on the sound and growing upward, but it remains mellow. There are some non-lyrical vocals, more like scat singing in the arrangement at times. 
Sade Sati
Fast paced and powered up, this is a smoking hot fusion jam. They take it through all kinds of shifts and changes. It's a real powerhouse. This gets into some particularly dramatic and potent territory at times. This has some of the best musical passages of the whole disc, and really is probably my favorite piece here.
Memories
Piano starts this and holds it for a time in a classy solo. As the other instruments are gradually added to the mix it takes on a mellow, slow moving jazz sound. There are some jarring vocals on this cut. I'm not sure if they are non-lyrical or in another language. Either way, I'm not a fan, and they kind of mar this number for me.
One More Day
This is quite a pretty and melodic number. It's a bit mellower than some of the others, but it's no less exploratory or interesting. It's quite pretty and rather intriguing. It's also a satisfying way to end the set.
 
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