Ratko Zjaca & Simon Zanchini - Beyond the Lines (CD)
Release Date: 05/13/14
The ZZ Quartet has hardly anything to do with the Texan Blues rock band ZZ Top. Instead, the band's forceful initials originate from the surnames of the initiators Ratko Zjaca (guitar) and Simone Zanchini (accordion). After the sensational 2010 début album The Way We Talk (In + Out Records) they have returned to the studio once again, together with Martin Gjakonovski (bass) and Adam Nussbaum (drums), to write another chapter in the history of cross-border jazz. But - jazz' 'By now, this term in its classic American meaning is no longer sufficient,' muses Simone Zanchini. 'What we do clearly has European roots, many classical influences, folklore, avant-garde, improvisation, sometimes fusion too. You'll only find something akin to swing in one piece at the most, but yet a distinct rhythm pervades the entire album'. And Ratko Zjaca believes he discerns an element of rock and pop music in the ZZ Quartet's compact, self-contained, highly exciting sound, which sometimes goes against the grain. 'We function as a band first and foremost; we have got to know and appreciate each other these last four years. Not for nothing were legendary bands such as Led Zeppelin, the Beatles and Weather Report able to develop their concept continuously over a long period of time'. A small hint of ZZ Top after all, then, albeit in the philosophical sense. 'We never wanted to make an album that was just purely jazz,' says Ratko Zjaca, explaining the motive of the ZZ Quartet which, on The Way We Talk still bears his name in classic jazz fashion. 'The preferences and the musical socializations of the four of us are too different for that. None of us wants to be confined or enslaved to a particular style any more'. Zjaca, the guitarist, is from Croatia but has made the Netherlands his home for more than 20 years. Zanchini, the accordion player, is from Italy, Martin Gjakonovski, the bass player, is from Macedonia, but has been living in Bergisch Gladbach, near Cologne, for 23 years. And Adam Nussbaum, the authority on drums, is from New York.
|Label: In+out Records|