“Veselino jazz project” is project by Luka Veselinovic with no staple band; it is mostly different jazz musicians playing together. Luka is the bass guitar player and composer of the original compositions on the album entitled “Magnetic Whale”, recorded in Boston, during his studies at the Berklee College Of Music, together with some of the finest young musicians in the school.
Veselinovic is influenced by all kinds of music, from pop, funk, hip hop, soul to ethnic, but mostly contemporary jazz and world music. So his fusion compositions are mostly in the jazz direction. Luka comes from the City of Opatija, but now lives In Zagreb which is the capital of Croatia. He has been a professional musician for the last 10 years and “Magnetic Whale” is his debut album as bandleader.
The title of the album “Magnetic Whale” was extracted from ‘magnetic energy’ which represents never ending free energy, and the lifestyle of ‘blue whales’ which represents peace and mystery.
About the album, Veselinovic explains, that he attempted to compose lyrical and slower melodies which would create harmonic contrast with busier rhythms. “Combining vocals with melodies give the songs more atmosphere and softness, and also contrast with the rhythm,” he says.
Veselinovic played electric bass on the album, but more in the style of an upright bass, and also sang all the melodies. His bass playing is everywhere, contributing significantly to the musical whole, but is always subservient to the musical task at hand. “While composing,” he continues, “I was trying to “move” more harmony than melody, which gives the songs an interesting touch. Which is something like, instead of jumping on earth, let’s rather move the earth, and we stay in the same place.” “Opatijske Ostarije” on the other hand is a traditional Croatian Folk song which Veselinovic re-harmonized.
“Magnetic Whale” contains 6 tracks which has nothing to do with showing off or trying to prove something to the listener. All the tunes and solos on this album are examples of Luka and the other players’ ability to use harmony together with space, time and tone.
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Right from the opening title track the brass move around the beat, defining their unique concept of swing. It contrasts the running bass and bouncy beat and is great example of how Veselinovic incorporates call and response through his compositions, in ways beyond just leaving spaces after phrases.
This is one of the first jazz albums I have really gotten into, in a long while, and it really reopened my mind to a world I had forgotten to explore in many a year. It’s just that the indie jazz world tends to stay more underground than most other genres, making it just that touch inaccessible.
There’s something about Veselinovic playing that is not only wonderful. His music really tugs at your heart in an indescribable way. He seems to understand that music isn’t just music. That a rhythm isn’t just a rhythm and a note isn’t just a note. He seems to look deeper into what stands in between all of these elements, and then drags them out into the forefront of his pieces.
What makes “Magnetic Whale” so greatly enjoyable is how consistently accessible and ear-pleasing it is, yet never being shallow or boring. The tunes are uniformly chimerical and the playing is wonderfully subtle and dynamic all around, as perfect moments of musical interaction abound throughout the album.
Veselinovic’s prowess as a composer is amply documented on “Mr Newald”, the intriguingly geometric “Magnetic Whale”, and the breathtakingly gorgeous “Endo Sanda Mama”. However his writing and playing skills are showcased within all six beautiful tunes, which are strung together like pearls on a necklace.
There really isn’t any way to completely express in words, the beauty and the unity of the musical expressions used on “Magnetic Whale”, other than this is an album of equal power, quality and adventurous spirit. Don’t miss out on this, if you like any Jazz at all!
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