Boban Markovic Orkestar Feat. Marko Markovic The Promise

Trumpeter/flugelhornist Boban Markovic is the undisputed king of Balkan Brass. He is known throughout Eastern Europe by his first name alone, which is the undisputed mark of celebrity anywhere. After having won pretty much every award possible in competitions across the Balkan states, he now wants to focus on developing new possibilities in brass orchestrations and grooming his son Marko to co-star with him. With nine brass (including four flugelhorns), no reeds and four percussionists, sonically, the obvious comparison is with New Orleans brass bands. However, the rhythms are way shiftier than the Dirty Dozen, and the lead melodies are outrageously modulated. Because Balkan music is so receptive to new influences from around the world, there is a great deal of variety from track to track. The opener "Latino” speaks for itself, and its familiar bass line compares favourably with any North American brass band — except that the rapid-fire, punchy darbouka percussion suggests Turkish influences where bongos might usually fit. The most experimental track on the disc is "Sunce Sjajano,” which seems to change meter and tempo every few seconds, highlighted by a spellbinding trumpet solo with classical intonation, jazzy slurs and freewheeling rhythmic interjections. The polar opposite is the punk-y hora party "Paun” where Boban proves he can still blow all pretenders away with sheer force. The billowing arrangements are rich in midrange; when all are playing in unison it’s the audio equivalent of a rich chocolate mousse slathered in whipped cream. Tasty! (Piranha)