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Tihomir Pop Asanovic - Jugoslovenska Pop Selekcija: Slatka Lola CD (album) cover


Tihomir Pop Asanovic


Jazz Rock/Fusion

2.17 | 4 ratings

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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.


P. A. RATING: 2/5

Seyo | 2/5 |


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