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TIHOMIR POP ASANOVIC

Jazz Rock/Fusion • Yugoslavia


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Tihomir Pop Asanovic biography
Tihomir Pop ASANOVIC is one of the best ex-Yugoslavian keyboard players. He started with THE GENERALS in 1968 and played frequently across East European and German jazz clubs. He was original line-up member of TIME, taking part in their celebrated eponymous debut album in early 1972. During the mid-1970s he also played occasionally with YU GRUPA and SMAK, while in 1974 he founded a super group called JUGOSLOVENSKA POP SELEKCIJA (The Yugoslavian Pop Selection), which gathered some of the best rock and jazz players of the era. Together with a colleague from the "Selection", vocalist Janez Boncina, he founded jazz-rock band SEPTEMBER in 1975. After they disbanded in late 1970s he played as a prominent session musician to finish the career as a musical instruments dealer.

ASANOVIC recorded two unnoticed jazz-rock solo albums which act as rarity items for collectors nowadays, "Majko Zemljo" (Mother Earth) 1974, and "Pop" 1976. His specialty was Hammond organ. These records are recommended for fans of jazz-rock, funk and fusion styles.


Why this artist must be listed in www.progarchives.com :
ASANOVIC was member of two important progressive jazz-rock bands, TIME and SEPTEMBER, and is a known Hammond virtuoso.

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TIHOMIR POP ASANOVIC discography


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TIHOMIR POP ASANOVIC top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.07 | 10 ratings
Majko Zemljo
1974
2.14 | 2 ratings
Slatka Lola - Najljepse pjesme Djordja Novkovica (with Jugoslavenska Pop Selekcija)
1975
3.00 | 1 ratings
Pop
1976

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TIHOMIR POP ASANOVIC Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Slatka Lola - Najljepse pjesme Djordja Novkovica (with Jugoslavenska Pop Selekcija) by ASANOVIC,TIHOMIR POP album cover Studio Album, 1975
2.14 | 2 ratings

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Slatka Lola - Najljepse pjesme Djordja Novkovica (with Jugoslavenska Pop Selekcija)
Tihomir Pop Asanovic Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Seyo
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

2 stars The late Djordje Novkovic was one of the most successful songwriters, arrangers and producers in former Yugoslavia of all time. He built fame during the 1970s; first with PRO ARTE and later with SREBRNA KRILA, both being the chart-topping smash hits of easy-listening teenage pop music, which more than often bordered with "bubble gum". However, for the short time he was a member of prog legends INDEXI where he took part (as keyboardist and arranger) in recording of probably the first full-blown progressive rock composition in Yugoslavia, "Negdje na kraju u zatisju" in 1969! Until the end of his life (he passed away in 2007) he continued a successful career of a producer, composer, music business entrepreneur and young music talents discoverer.

Tihomir Pop Asanovic joined a loose musical ensemble of excellent jazz and rock instrumentalists in mid 1970s, known under the tag of JUGOSLOVENSKA POP SELEKCIJA. It consisted mainly of the former TIME (Asanovic including) and the future SEPTEMBER members. Although highly accomplished musicians, SELEKCIJA never bothered with recording their own material, opting instead to provide session, studio and live support to other artists. This is sad because had they done otherwise, it would have stand as the prime jazz-rock or jazz-funk fusion work :-(

The problem with "Sweet Lola" (translation of the title of this record) does not end with its sexy cover sleeve. It is amazing how a group of such a good instrumentalists can waste their talents on releasing albums like this one. 12 tracks penned by Novkovic (hence the sub-title "The Prettiest Songs of Djordje Novkovic"), out of which 9 were from PRO ARTE catalogue, were far faraway from any rock music scene. On top of that, this is an instrumental album, with occasional female back vocals. So, the listener is tortured with 12 tra-la-la/obla-di pop tunes where the melody line is played solo mostly by rather awful synthesizers by Asanovic and similarly weak trumpet playing by another jazz giant Peter Ugrin. It is a shame that such prominent Hammond virtuoso accepted to take part in this project. In rare occasions, when Asanovic sticks back to his organ, when Ratko Divjak plays drums with wonderful jazzy beats and when Vedran Bozic takes his guitar in order to play more than a mere rhythm chords, this albums briefly shines. Alas, these moments are way too short so they are drowned in the overall disaster.

This is the music one expects to hear at the Adriatic Riviera hotel resorts during the peak of the socialist working class bourgeois collective annual leave periods during the happy seventies. And no, the nude "Lola" from the cover is not a Yugoslavian girl, which by the way is perhaps the most "progressive" thing on this album. In spite of rather "liberal" socialist society of the Tito era, the naked tits were highly unlikely to encounter in public, so this was rather "avant-garde" :-) Therefore, it was probably printed abroad by CBS and then licensed for Yugoslav market, as the CBS logo on the cover suggests. In spite of weak musical material I am kind of sympathetic for this release due to its rarity and unconventionality, so I am not going to give 1 star. Rarity and oddity collectors may find this title worthy to obtain.

PERSONAL RATING: 1,5/5

P. A. RATING: 2/5

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 Pop by ASANOVIC,TIHOMIR POP album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.00 | 1 ratings

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Pop
Tihomir Pop Asanovic Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Seyo
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

— First review of this album —
3 stars This is second solo album of renouned keybordist/organist Tihomir Pop Asanovic, issued in 1976.

Asanovic took some extra time during his engagement with JUGOSLOVENSKA POP SELEKCIJA, a short-lived supergroup that gathered a dozen or so important Yugoslavian musicians, to record his second solo album. He kept his standard collaborators, J. Boncina, P. Ugrin and B. Doblekar in the team. These formed the core around which the band SEPTEMBER was about to release their debut the same year. Drummer R. Divjak (ex-TIME) was also kept in from the previous album "Majko zemljo". Instead of Josipa Lisac, Asanovic invited here another celebrated female jazz and rock vocalist, Zdenka Kovacicek. The vocal tracks were shared among her, Boncina and Asanovic (This time around, Dado Topic was missing).

"Pop" (Asanovic's nickname), as the vinyl was titled, is far less interesting work than its predecessor. It is not that the sound is more "pop", but the style is overall less challenging and set more into the mainstream crossover jazz/R'n'B territory. That would not be a serious problem if the material were better composed and arranged. Thus, it all sounds a bit lame and does not provoke a listener. Some songs like "Plejboj" (Playboy), "Hiljadu zena" (A Thousand Women) and "O ljudima danas, o ljudima juce" (On People Today, On People Yesterday) are outright stupid. On the instrumental side, it is very good record; Asanovic and Ugrin are brilliant especially in keyboards/trumpet duelling tracks, "Skakavac" (Grasshopper) and lengthy improvisation "Ekspres Novi Sad". "Vremena je malo" (There's Little Time) with its almost honky-tonk piano sounds a bit like taken from a scene shot in a drunken Western saloon. Zdenka Kovacicek gave good singing in "Mali crni brat" (Little Black Brother) and "Dodji drugi put" (Come Another Time), but she is surely capable of better things to do.

This album lies somewhere between 2 and 3 stars rating. Because of exceptional instrumental play of Asanovic and due to sincerity in pursuing his own musical style, I opt for a higher mark.

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 Majko Zemljo by ASANOVIC,TIHOMIR POP album cover Studio Album, 1974
4.07 | 10 ratings

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Majko Zemljo
Tihomir Pop Asanovic Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Seyo
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Having left TIME after their phenomenal first album, Tihomir Pop Asanovic joined them again during the World Youth Festival, held in (East) Berlin 1973, on which occasion he played his rewarded composition "Berlin". The following year he recorded his first solo album "Majko Zemljo" (Eng. "Mother Earth") which is celebrated as the first recorded solo album of a rock keyboardist in former Yugoslavia! Also in 1974 Asanovic formed a super-group called JUGOSLOVENSKA POP SELEKCIJA (Yugoslavian Pop Selection) which gathered a dozen or so prominent rock and jazz musicians of the time, who performed at many concerts in ex-Yugoslavia, including the popular "Boom" Pop Festivals in Ljubljana '74 and Zagreb '75. POP SELECTION would transform into band SEPTEMBER in late 1975, but before that Asanovic invited many of these musicians for his solo LP, which basically consisted of the old material previously worked out with POP SELECTION.

The title track is a strong and catchy jazz-funk number with clavinet and brass arrangements where Janez Boncina (SEPTEMBER) and Dado Topic (TIME) shared lead vocals. "Balada o liscu" ("The Ballad Of The Leaves") is a nice, bluesy jazz ballad with Topic's lead vocals singing about falling leaves and passing of life which is quite spoiled by excessive use of a synthesizer. I guess it was a novelty at that time so Asanovic could not resist playing with it more than necessary. "Berlin I" is excellent jazz instrumental with perfect brass melody, superb Hammond, Asanovic's signature instrument, and trumpet solo by Pero Ugrin. "Tema za pop LP" ("Theme For a Pop LP") is another instrumental featuring female scat vocals, electric piano, clavinet and Hammond. Nothing special but pleasant enough to listen to. There is a pure classic jazz feel in this song. A somewhat stupid title "Rokenrol dizajner" ("Rock'n'Roll Designer") uncovers a brilliant short funky and rhythmic track with Boncina/Topic singing the title words interchangeably, while Divjak and Doblekar provide strong percussions. Another slow ballad "Ostavi trag" ("Leave the Trace") features Josipa Lisac as lead female vocalist and her performance is excellent. Again too much syntesizers here, but improvement comes with fine piano and at the closing part a wonderful soprano sax solo, which recalls some Coltranesque feel. Too bad this part is very short. This song would resurface on the first SEPTEMBER album "Zadnja avantura" two years later. D. Topic sings lead with female backing in the Latino-flavoured "Telepatija" ("Telepathy") sounding similar to SANTANA at times. A danceable, catchy tune but nothing exceptional. The closing "Berlin II" instrumental is not as good as the first one although it showcases the jolly sound of clavinet again.

This is a very good jazz-rock album with certain funk and R'n'B influences that does not require close attention or extraordinary jazz knowledge as preconditions for enjoyment. However, the keyboard nerds will have enough time to explore the sounds of Hammond, piano, clavinet and vintage synths played by one of the best ex- Yugoslavian musicians during the "golden" prog era.

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Thanks to seyo for the artist addition.

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