CD review: Ivan Ivanov Quartet – Wild Flower 2019: Video, CD cover

- in New CD's Review, VIDEOS

Saxophonist Ivan Ivanov makes his maiden voyage as a leader on Wild Flower, a marvelous recording that is steeped in the modern post bop sound. A member of a younger generation of jazz artists in Macedonia that have gained musical education outside the country, Ivanov brings a breath of fresh air with his debut.

The leader’s deft compositions are what make this CD a rewarding experience. From the start, there is much excitement in the band’s playing, with Ivanov’s saxophone igniting fireworks with intensity and vitality throughout. He is joined by a combo he assembled during his studies at the Conservatory in Graz, Austria.

The compositions, all written by Ivanov, are not simple vamps and riffs, but are structured in such a way that they don’t take much time to develop. The date kicks off with the title track, which shows that Ivanov swings and loves melody, but also has a sense of play and melodic inventiveness. “Swinging JW” is a playful gem, with double-bassist Joe Abentug and drummer Anđelko Stupar igniting a combustive drive over which Ivanov and pianist Sava Miletić deliver poignant melodies. “After the Rain” eases with its quiet moments, where Ivanov’s playing is melodic, reflective, and filled with a generous spirit. The rhythmic pulse is of central importance on “Macedonian Wi Fi,” a quicker-paced tune where Stupar delivers some great fills, while Miletic contributes to the spontaneous, in-the-moment feel with his pulsating melodies.

  1. Wild Flower
  2. Swinging JW
  3. For R&B
  4. After The Rain
  5. Macedonian Wi-Fi
  6. Monk’s Notes
  7. Traffic

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