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Radomir Mihajlovic Tocak - Byzantine Blue CD (album) cover

BYZANTINE BLUE

Radomir Mihajlovic Tocak

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.05 | 2 ratings

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Seyo
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars After his first solo album that appeared in 1976, Radomir Mihajlović Točak waited long 13 years before recording a solo follow-up. During that period he disbanded and re-grouped SMAK for several times, but the once celebrated band failed to repeat success of their early career of the late 1970's. Točak probably felt this was again an opportunity to present his personal instrumental and composing skills, unchained from the confinements of the group work, so he accepted an offer to compose a soundtrack for the feature movie "Byzantine Blue" ("Vizantijsko plavo" in Serbian) directed by Dragan Marinković. In many ways this was and still remains one of his best solo works.

The opening track "Blame" provides an opportunity for Točak to cover a traditional folk song known under different names also as "Ukor" or "De si du?o, de si rano". Guitar solo exemplifies the unique technique of Točak. Another traditional is "Blue Dance" although this intake of the folk "wheel dance" is less interesting. The title track is pleasant melodic composition done in the style of classic progressive rock with scat female vocals courtesy of Marija Mihajlović. The main theme of this track is repeated in the title "Blue". "Mathematics of Another Kind" continues in a dark jazz-rock manner reminiscent of early MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA for instance. More folk-fusion themes are revisited in two excellent tracks - "My Diary" and "Zajdi zajdi" - the latter being known to old SMAK fans from the album "Za?to ne volim sneg" (1981). Heavy sound is represented by excellent blues-rock "Havana Blues", while more experimental and ambient percussive and synthesized work is showcased in the two-part "Funky Turtles". These are only highlights of the record, while you can find many nice moments in the remaining tracks too.

Točak's backing band was called TEK and included his long-time collaborator from the early SMAK days, drummer Slobodan Stojanović Kepa and bass player Milan Milosavljević, who both provided firm and hard rocking rhythm section. Among the prominent guest players you can see also former SMAK associates, bassist Zoran Milanović and keyboardist Laza Ristovski in whose studio the album was recorded. It is interesting to mention that the latter should not be confused with famous Serbian actor starring main role in this movie, having almost the same name - Lazar Ristovski!

This is very good, mostly instrumental album with many interesting fusion, folk and blues elements that is recommended if you like strong guitar-based sound.

PERSONAL RATING: 3,5/5

P.A. RATING: 4/5

Seyo | 4/5 |

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