Vasil Hadzimanov Band, Lines In Sand, 2019

vasil hadzimanov band - lines in sandBeen a couple of years since previous album Alive was discussed here. And looking back, and now hearing this, I have been wondering; is this album more accessible, or have I grown in understanding this type of music? As you will know by now, a lot of releases coming from Moonjune are not for the faint hearted. Often based on jams and improvisations they always impress with musical and technical skills, but rarely hit home on first play. I consider most of them growers…

So how about this one then? Well it seems that this time, the mix of fusion, funk, psychedelia, rock and so on, has generated a couple of tracks I like from the first time I heard them! Mr. Moonjune has some recurring themes (always helpful to connect with), and a great funky groove going. The way the piano arpeggio in San Snova is rhythmically accompanied by the band is very imaginative. Lost, with vocals from Marta Hadzimanov, is a beautiful jazzy song, with impressive restrained playing. And Maklik is just brilliant.
Of course, variation is key here, and they do sometimes indulge in extensive soloing on whatever instrument they seem fit. But for me this is an album that I would play again in the future.

Yes, I like it, especially the funky side of it!

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Vasil Hadzimanov Band, Alive, 2016

vasil hadzimanov band - aliveAnd while on the subject of Moonjune (go check their website for current Celebration offers), here is another release from them, the Vasil Hadzimanov band. I am sorry to say I have never heard of them, and I rarely write about live album either. But since this was an unknown force, I’d reckon I try spend some words on it.

When you are familiar with the label, you will have a clue as to what to expect. And indeed, this band is no exception. Instrumental music between Jazz, fusion and a tad of prog, with musicians that all are ace players. But the downside of release like this for me is that the music needs large amounts of time to be able to connect with it. There is a lot of free styled jamming and soloing going on, so for a lot of people this will be hard to digest.
Of course there are parts of songs that are based on melodies and groove. Like pieces of songs like Nocturnal Joy or Otkrice Snova for instance. And like I said, the band is terrific, I am sure they impressed every audience they performed for. Which in this case would be during a Serbian tour in 2014.

Anyway, lovers of the label or the genre are in for a treat, others should listen in first.

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