Janko Nilovic – Soul Impressions (1975/2011)

Janko Nilovic - Soul Impressions (1975/2011)
Artist: Janko Nilovic
Album: Soul Impressions
Genre: Funk / Soul
Released: 1975/2011
Quality: FLAC (tracks+.cue)
Tracklist:
Hippocampus (3:00)
Open Country (1:46)
Crazy Enterprise (2:00)
Soul Impressions (3:22)
Lettre De Mer (2:18)
Drug Song (3:14)
Man Of Genius (3:07)
Push Push (2:12)
Black Swan Lake (2:12)
Lady Day (2:39)
To And Fro (1:57)
Family Tree (2:09)

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This is catchy Exotica, with Nilovic’s deft touch for both composition and arrangement.

It includes what I’ve come to think of (after hearing half a dozen releases from him) as his (and much Exotica’s) fearless genre-mixing approach to an album. In part, this obviously reflects the nature of recording for library labels – shorter, snapshot-like pieces that sketch an idea (vividly) but don’t stick around to develop it too far. But at the same time, as evidenced by some of his other release, Nilovic knows how to write something just as snappy or memorable with or without constraints.

Drawing from a diverse instrumental palette that shoots for ‘funk’ but is light and rocky too, ‘Soul Impressions’ flits across a dozen genres. Using acoustic and electric guitars, horns, flute, drums, percussion and organs, it is only missing the strings and wordless vocals from his other releases.

Opener ‘Hippocampus’ is a great funk rock track, with a feel that is echoed at other times, like in the car-chase ‘Crazy Enterprise’ and ‘Man of Genius.’ Elsewhere there is just a breath of menace in ‘Push Push’ and a Curtis-esque moment in ‘Drug Song.’ Nilovic also slows things down occasionally, with the sweet ‘Open Country’ and ballad ‘Lady Day.’

At times it’s not hard to feel frustrated that the band isn’t able to stretch out like they did in the previous year’s fantastic ‘Rythmes Contemporains’ but that is the nature of the recording. This is a great album but may not appeal to Jazz fans who prefer their pieces to stretch out and explore.

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