John Watson – Hashima “Tideland” Album review

CD REVIEW  Hashima : Tideland (Own Label)

Elements of the exotic East have brought much marvellous music to the jazz world, and this CD shows how powerful those scales, modes and rhythms can be. Hashima is a group based in Serbia, and their new disc offers a captivating mixture of Balkans traditional folk music, swirling rhythms, enticing melodies and very fine jazz improvising. The group is led by guitarist Igor Miskovic, and features Srdan Mijalkovic on saxophone, Vanja Todorovic on double bass, and Aleksandar Hristic on drums.

All the compositions on ‘Tideland’ are by Miskovic, opening gentle arpeggios on ‘Dance No.2’ and building that piece into a vibrant, driving 5/4, with Mijalkovic’s tenor swooping and diving over the chords. The track ‘2pm’ develops many moods and its movements include pounding rhythms, but also many moment of stillness. The title track opens with a swirl of cymbals, reintroducing a noble motif stated on tenor, then a floating, melodic theme. ‘Muted’ has a simple, slow figure on bass as its introduction, with the saxophone adding eletronically-filtered flutters, developing into a melodic theme with a hint of menace. Miskovic’s guitar introduces ‘Release’, a modal piece in triple time featuring a dream-like melody, the rhythm building to a pounding climax driven by Hristic’s drums. The imaginative concluding track, ‘Harness’, has a furiously fast guitar figure as its introduction, with a slower theme and funky percussion edging into a punchy reworking of  ‘Over The Rainbow’.  For more infomation, and to order the disc, visit:

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