Feeling For Jazz
Scene »Amadeo« – Donna Lee Saxophone Quartet’s appearance – A meeting with classics of modern jazz – Noticed Ivanušić’s arrangement of Gershwin’s »Summertime«
It was legitimate move that scene »Amadeo« in Zagreb in its summer program put performance of the saxophone quartet which was named after Charlie Parker’s theme »Donna Lee«. That ensemble of the younger generation successfully resumes tradition of the older Zagreb Saxophone Quartet, what the concert proved. The concert passed by in lively atmosphere of spontaneous reaction of fairly visited auditorium.
The leader of the ensemble is Zdenko Ivanušić, excellent musician and arranger and very good composer too. He brilliantly plays alto and soprano sax using contemporary technique which enables him effect improvisations. Another alto player Andrej Henigman was excellent too with his solos in pair with Ivanušić but particularly with baritone player Damir Horvat. It was Horvat who held some parts of performed compositions with recognizable sound and reliable executing. Enjoying the same rights was tenor player Vanja Ileković, who had chance to prove himself with reliability of the rounded improvisation.
It was pleasure to listen their radiant ensemble playing, balanced in emphasizing individuality and perfect rhythmic execution.
The program covered the classics of the modern jazz like Charlie Parker, Quincy Jones, Charles Mingus or Duke Ellington, all mainly in Zdenko Ivanušić’s successful arrangements. A nice move was putting in program Bosko Petrović’s tune »Green Lobster Dream« in Ivanušić’s excellent arrangement and Ivanušić introduced himself with his successful compositions »Evident« and »Ballad For G.«.
But maybe the most beautiful Ivanušić’s arrangement was Gershwin’s »Summertime« with bravely structured improvisations which proved authentically contemporary feeling for jazz. And just such a musical achievements should be stimulated and such a programs which are contributions to our (Croatian) musical practice.
Nenad Turkalj, 27.08.2001.