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Leb I Sol - Rucni Rad CD (album) cover


Leb I Sol

Jazz Rock/Fusion

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Honorary Collaborator
5 stars After two successfull albums LEB I SOL decided not to repeat the formula but to go into a deeper exploration of jazz.

For the third album they almost abandoned the lyrics and invited a saxophone guest for two tracks. Vocals are present but except "Lenja pesma", an excellent even semi-commercial hit at the time, they were utilized as an instrument. Dimusevski is more active than ever with his electric piano and plethora of synths, Stefanovski's guitar technique is brought to perfect here,while rhythm section of Tavitijan and Arsovski is impeccable as always. Macedonian folk is less present in favour of more "avant-garde" approach in a manner of jazz improvistions, so "Rucni rad" is not very accessible on the first listen.

Production of Josip Bocek is finally top notch for the time, the whole album carries the balanced sound of all instruments, perfectly arranged so you could get a sense of the band playing as a single body. Solos are rare but very effective and functional.

All 7 tracks are perfect but obvious favorites would be "Lenja pesma" (lyrics as always by Goran Stefanovski, Vlatko's brother, who is a renowned Macedonian playright), Arsovski's title track "Rucni rad" with some beautiful fretless bass melody line and Stefanovski's "Kumova slama", one of the most memorable instrumentals of the former Yugo music scene, beautiful melody with emotional guitar solo weeping. However there is present a sort of optimistic, positive feeling in this composition which sometimes reminds me of the similar style found in say "Jessica" by ALLMAN BROTHERS. This is a true gem of ex-Yugo prog and probably the best fusion album of the era just before the coming of New Wave age.

It is available on a "2LP on1CD" reissue coupled with the fourth album "Infinity" (T.Pics/PGP RTS, CD 2046, 2000) so you better go and get it!

Report this review (#37312)
Posted Thursday, June 23, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Vlatko Stefanovski always pointed to Allan Holdsworth as a huge influence on his guitar playing.This album,more than any other Leb i sol offering,clearly shows this influence.Band is clearly at their peak here, leaning more toward jazz side of fusion(Bruford's"One of a kind"comes to mind)."Rebus",second cut,is highlight,showing virtuosic skills of a band members ,with both Dimusevski's and Stefanovski's excellent piano and electric guitar solos."Hogar"is another high point,while "Put u vedro" and "Verni pas" are almost pure jazz explorations employing tenor and alto sax of veteran jazz -pro Milivoj Markovic.Unlike first two albums,production is little bit muddy,but overall sound is very powerfull.From this point on,Leb i sol began slowly to distance themselves from their jazz-rock/fusion roots and absorbing more of a straight rock sound in search of a more commercial appeal.Still,all three first albums are essential listening and are highly reccomended.

Report this review (#104529)
Posted Monday, December 25, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is not only the best studio album of Leb i Sol but, I would dare to call it, one of the best studio albums ever recorded. The compositions are so marvellously arranged and performed. The whole album breathes with profound energy and south european sensitivity. It's a must!
Report this review (#119929)
Posted Friday, April 27, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars

An interesting band name: Leb I Sol(in English Bread and Salt) which reminds me of a certain habit in my country. When we have some guests from other places we greet them and give them to eat bread and salt on a dish (usually the person who's doing this is dressed in a traditional costume). I'm wondering if the desired meaning was this one. As far as I read until know it seems yes.

What we have here: some very good musicians considering how they know to play their instruments. This is their third album. Except the first song on which the voice is also present the other songs are instrumentally. The music is very enjoyable and melodic (especially on Kumova Slama which is my favorite song from this release). The technicality is very well demonstrated on the third song Hogar but not only.

The influences are somehow evident from the entire spectrum of the jazz-rock/fusion artists form the '70. But this doesn't mean that this is a bad copy. Instead every song is a good composition. The quality of the songs is very homogeneous which it is a feature hard to accomplish and that's why I consider this to be a strong point.

Finally my recommendation would be to check out this band because they really made some good moments with their releases (maybe this one the best from them).

Report this review (#124098)
Posted Thursday, May 31, 2007 | Review Permalink
Andrea Cortese
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars After having silently disappeared behind huge piles of law books, I'm finally back with some of the most exciting bands I discovered this year... thanks to Seyo and to this website and thanks also to my longly coveted holydays in Itsria.

Leb i Sol are often overlooked by many prog fellows and that's probably due to the difficulty to find albums of theirs without recurring to internet sellers. Well, I recommend you to try. Not just because you love jazz-rock sound but as prog lovers in general.

After their tremendous second album, simply titled Leb i Sol 2 (which cover I'm proud to call show now as my avatar!), the most important macedonian band gives us a more symphonic effort, slightly less eclectic and varied than the previous work. Notwithstanding, Rucni Rad is a hell of an album too, more mature and very well produced and, at the same time, very different from that. More keyboards and less guitar's aggressiveness, more delicacy as in the pleasant title track itself.

Could you imagine Mahavisnu Orchestra duet with Camel? Well, it's a fabulous experience for ears. Excellent. The only problem is whether this album is better than Leb i Sol 2 or not. After so many listenings, now I'm sure I prefer the predecessor 'cause of its more original variety of styles. Despite that, Rucni Rad comes close and sometimes delivers some of the most outsanding numbers as the explosive Rebus.

Some delicate remembrance of Banco (Canto di Primavera's period) here and there are also worthy of special mention.

Beautiful melodies and great sax solos as in the memorable closer Verni Pas. Sad atmosphere and mellow choruses. Great.

4,5 highly recommended!

Report this review (#155433)
Posted Friday, December 14, 2007 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Possibly, one of the best album of Leb i Sol, Macedonian band. If two previous works were more filled with Balkan world melodies and rhythms, this third one is mostly jazz fusion album.

Strongly influenced by genre leaders, the album contains well balanced music with sound, where one can find RTF,Mahavishnu Orchestra,symphonic prog traces. Sound recorded at very good level, with rich bass line and airy rounded electric guitar. Electronic keyboards play their important mission in common sound as well.

Album's opener is quite pop-oriented song with vocals, but then you will hear many instrumental fusion pieces. If there are some Macedonian motives in instrumental compositions, another characteristic moment is very melodic,soulful and rounded "Slavic" sound ( you often can hear it in music of mostly each Eastern European band). Similar nuances are quite usual in music of some French bands,or RPI.

In some compositions guest sax player added its instrument's voice, but sax sounds quite in traditions of pop-jazz. Great work,if a bit too soft and safe for my taste.

Another great fusion album from 70-s, no way masterpiece, but possibly one of the best genre's example from former Yugoslavia.

Three and half, rounded to 4.

Report this review (#274425)
Posted Friday, March 26, 2010 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
4 stars LEB I SOL's third album is on a par with the first two in my opinion but I would give the first two a bit of an edge over "Rucni Rad" if I was listing them by favourites.

"Lenja Pesma" is bright and uptempo with vocals. Love this song.The bass is prominant the way I like it too. We get guitar after 2 minutes when the vocals stop followed by synths before the vocals return. "Rebus" has lots of keyboards early on and it turns jazzy around a minute with bass.The drumming is excellent here.The guitar 3 1/2 minutes in proceeds to rip it up. "Hogar" kicks in before a minute. Man this guy can drum ! The guitar is lighting it up late as the bass throbs.

"Rucni Rad" is more laid back with piano, bass and drums standing out. Some relaxed guitar before 3 1/2 minutes and vocal melodies come in late. "Kumova Slama" is another relaxed tune with synths this time.Vocal melodies around 4 minutes followed by guitar as it becomes more aggressive. "Put U Vedro" is mellow and I like the guest sax which sounds incredible. So much going on here. Good tune ! "Verni Pas" opens with keys then the bass joins in. Synths 1 1/2 minutes in and sax comes in later.Vocal melodies after 3 1/2 minutes.

If you can find any of LEB I SOL's first three studio albums or their double live recording don't even hesitate. A solid 4 stars.

Report this review (#336541)
Posted Saturday, November 27, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars I entirely agree with the P.A. community of reviewers, when assign to LEB I SOL "Rucni Rad" (side to side With "Leb I Sol II" a high note. Although, I must confess that I'm not an adimirer from the Jazz Rock Fusion Style, mainly when this style are close to a free jazz., and for this reason maybe I'm not the most capable member from that community to wirite one review about this album. Even so in this record I have stayed "enchanted" for almost all of tracks, and between these tracks I wish detach the track 2 "Rebus" a delicious sound which even can be appreciated in a comfortable armchair or driving in a highway, the track 3 "Hogar" with his intial space prog theme and the sequence "in the mood" of RETURN TO FOREVER themes and the track 4 "Ručni Rad and his meditative "landscape" with a excellent work from the musicians whit a very tender touch in their instruments. For this reasons my rate is 4 stars !!!
Report this review (#899543)
Posted Friday, January 25, 2013 | Review Permalink
4 stars By the time the band got to this point after their first two albums - that are second only to Brand X "Masques" period(!) - they've slowed down a bit. Still quality Jazz-Rock, but the inspiration is fading here.

The tunes are pleasant and pleasant is the word as there is nothing groundbreaking here anymore. Still, it's much better than the Pop-oriented approach that was to follow a few years later - till Vlatko had re-invented himself as one of the most talented guitar players in Prog.

Not meaning to be patronizing here, but for a Macedonian band to deliver world class music is quite an achievement. If you care to hear them at their absolute best, check out their previous albums and don't forget to hold your jaw from dropping - that is if you are into Brand X at their best!

Report this review (#899635)
Posted Saturday, January 26, 2013 | Review Permalink

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