Latest album "Ulika revival"

Ulika revival new CD webnews 640x400

Tamara Obrovac quartet "Ulika revival" (Unit records, Switzerland), release date: 13.6.2014.


VIDEO: Ulika revival album trailer   Play icon
: concert trailer  Jazzahead 2013 Play icon
VIDEO : concert trailer "Ulika revival" LIVE @INK Pula Play icon
AUDIO: listen to parts of songs on DISCOGRAPHY   AudioForward-Normal-Red-icon36x36

Listen some songs from new album!

    Tamara Obrovac quartet   

     Tamara Obrovac / voice
     Matija Dedić / piano
     Žiga Golob / double bass
     Krunoslav Levačić / drums


With the release of „CD ULIKA"  (named after Tamara's grandmother), in 1998, Tamara Obrovac Quartet  presented for the first time Tamara's new way of thinking and composing which combines inspiration by the local Istrian music and dialect with the universal jazz expression.
The reunion of the quartet (summer 2011) gave life to a new creativity and a different way of interpreting old compositions.

The re-found joy of making music together, expressed through virtuoso playing, unlimited freedom of expression, humour and improvisation, characteristic of all members of the quartet, definitely confirmed their desire for a new (old) collaboration, and their latest performances proved again that music of Tamara Obrovac quartet reaches further then the constricted borders of musical classification, spreading the spirit of the Mediterranean region over geografic and musical boundaries.

The project started with sucesfull Croatian/Slovenian concert tour in February 2012. folowed by further concert promotion in Luneburg (DE) Novi Sad (SRB) and Labin (CRO), Jazz Ahead Bremen (DE), Jazz au Chellah (MAR) and CD „ULIKA revival" will be presented on Duesseldorfer Jazz Rally 08.6.2014.

HDS-ZAMP logo w 120 2014    Edition is supported by Croatian Composers society, Tamara has won on "International" competition 2014. Thank you.

European jazz has a new singing star:

With sensitivity, passion and humor the Croatian singer and composer Tamara Obrovac has positioned her homeland Istria on the world map of improvised music.
Tamara Obrovac finds clear and completely natural ways to combine the dialects and the melodic phrases of her native Istria with contemporary European jazz played at the very highest level.
With a sound reminiscent of the nobility and sensitivity of the Bill Evans Trio, and with bold interaction and congenial originality, on her journey through different types and levels of human emotion, the singer is accompanied by pianist Matija Dedić, bassist Žiga Golob and drummer Krunoslav Levačić.
Sometimes the Istrian sun scorches, sometimes wine matures, sometimes madness threatens.
But this inspired and virtuosic singer superbly balances poetic and archaic folk expression with her beautifully crafted music, equally recognizing the significance of both intellect and emotion.
With her album "Ulika revival" dedicated to her grandmother Ulika Tamara Obrovac has placed her native Istria indelibly on the musical map of the world.
Self-conscious, humorous, passionate.
Welcome to the new, old land of infinite possibilities.

Josef Engels

My starting point was jazz. It fascinated me with its freedom, its communicativeness.
As I searched for an identifiable artistic expression of my own,
I discovered the richness and the primordial power of my Istrian heritage, I have come to understand the value of my mother tongue, my tradition and my homeland. These have all played a huge role in the creation of my personal and musical identity.
The compositions on the CD "Ulika" (1998), which I dedicated to my grandmother Ulika, were my first excursion into the sonority of Istrian dialects and folk music, fused with the structures of contemporary jazz. This coalescence of Istrian polyphony with the spirit of freedom and improvisation so characteristic of jazz, got its final shape in the inspired performances of my brilliant musicians.
My roots and the spirit and traditions of my Istrian homeland, which my grandmother so lovingly passed on to me, have thus become my inner truth, while jazz has remained to be my freedom.
Ever since, my own dialectal and musical heritage has been the starting point of many of my musical researches, projects and bands.
My father, Ulika's son Ivan Obrovac, the painter whose paintings adorn the cover of this album, has taught me morality and freedom in both life and in art.
The reunion of the Tamara Obrovac quartet after fifteen years has inspired a new creativity in all of us. This new "Ulika revival" album presents new renditions of the compositions which we previously recorded on "Ulika".

Tamara Obrovac

PRESS - CD reviews

All About Jazz album review (USA)

"The revival is a great success, a masterly collection of strikingly affecting songs.

Obrovac sings in an Istrian dialect, with a style that draws on Istrian folk heritage as well as on contemporary jazz: the result is a powerfully emotive vocal that draws the listener in to the moods and images of the songs whether or not they share Obrovac's understanding of the words (helpfully, an English translation is provided in the liner notes)."

All About Jazz, Bruce Lindsay, July 2014.

Jazzthetik album review (DE)

"For many, Croatian singer Tamara Obrovac is still "a new voice," even though "Ulika revival" is her ninth record - and what a record it is! One of exceptionally creative and picturesque sound.
With her quartet, the Istrian singer - with 12 songs she has written herself - evokes charming and colourful sounds that blend both the dialects and melodies of Croatian music with contemporary jazz.
In every single moment of listening to the record it is wonderfully evident how these different influences blend into quite exciting and playful pieces of music.

Jazzthetik 2014, Germany

Jazz Podium album review (DE)

"Tamara Obrovac is quietly and secretly grown into one of Europe's greatest  ethnic jazz singers and stands at par with for example Savine Yannatou or Elina Duni.
Basically melancholic, her music simultaneously impresses with inner strength and passion that brings with it the story of the mentality of an entire region."

Volker Doberstein, Jazz Podium 2014, Germany

Concerto magazine album review (AT)

On light-footed rhythmic base carried by Ziga Golob on bass and Kruno Levačić on drums, Obrovac can impressively demonstrate her interpretations conveyed by warm colors of Istrian tongue.Her text interpretations and eloquent singing blend with her very specific jazz-scat in native idiom through her own concept of storytelling and intense recollection of personal experiences which touches the hearts of her listeners - one successful revival that even after fifteen years can convey timeless "spirit" of these works.

tHo, Concerto magazine, 2014, Austria

ULIKA revival CD review / KulturSPIEGEL (DE)

"Obrovac brings a tremendous sense of improvisation and rhythmic tension, and her album is among the best in the so-called Euro-Jazz."

Hans Hielcsher, KulturSPIEGEL 2014, Germany

ULIKA revival CD review / Kulturtipp (CH)

"Exotic from the heart of Europe

In her compositions, jazz singer and flutist Tamara Obrovac connects exotic, seemingly unrelated musical forms and rhythms of Istria - an intangible cultural heritage according to UNESCO.
Her balladesque chamber jazz gains with it a Mediterranean vitality, a dash of the Orient, and at times it even starts dancing.
Tamara Obrovac has dedicated her ninth album to her grandmother, Ulika - and has enriched the live European World-jazz movement with an additional musical contribution."

Frank von Niederhäusern, Kulturtipp 2014, Switzerland

ULIKA revival CD review / Stereoplay  (DE)

Tamara Obrovac quite charmingly offers musical gourmets a rich array of tastes.
Her singing, often merely a masterful play of syllables, is accompanied by harmonic and rhythmical additions, as well as with sensuous contributions of her helpers Matija Dedić (piano), Žiga Golob (bass) and Krunoslav levačić (drums).
From the Artesuono Studio in Udine, where this album was powerfully and ethereally recorded, a Mediterranean blues-folk-chamber jazz emerged that wins over its listeners with its charm.

MI, Steroplay 2014, Germany

ULIKA revival CD review / Jazz'nmore (CH)

From the synthesis of the elements of the old Istrian music and contemporary musical currents, folk, rock and jazz something new is being created. Obrovac explores the freedom of performance characteristic for jazz which allows her to live her fascinating individuality.
With her voice, which is characterized by her distinctive vibrato, she manages to skillfully reach vocal ranges from a full alto to a high soprano. The band in the background that actively accompanies her also has its own qualities, which certainly should not be hidden and it proves this in the solo parts.

Reiner Kobbe, August 2014.

ULIKA revival CD review / Ravno do dna (HR)

Return to Tamara's roots

...a musical piece in the form of an outstanding, intimate jazz concert with maximally concentrated musicians...
Here documented music of TO Quartet attracts attention not by attacking and aggression, but by inviting one to listen, to (almost) participate in the unfathomable, elusive, and yet so intense and powerful magic of the true art.

Janko Heidl , July 30th 2014.
Rated 9 out of 10

ULIKA revival CD review / Rolling stone (HR)

When jazz combines with ethno music and Istria with the world

"New versions offer a completely new world of songs with which Tamara has presented herself to Istria, Croatia and the world. With her strong and at the same time gentle voice it seems as though Tamara Obrovac has been waiting to tell the Istrian scale to a new audience, exactly 15 years after the first Ulika, with exactly these associates and exactly in this way.
Their synergy is so strong that it simply draws you into this world which Tamara has created when she first appeared on the scene.
At times somewhat heavy and harsh sound of their compositions is dissipated by the positive energy with which she radiates in almost every verse, every note, every word.
Although "Ulika" was a kind of a catapult in Tamara Obrovac's career, "Ulika revival" is a gilded version of her career which might open her all the doors to jazz festivals and awards around the world which have, until now and for some unjustified reason, bypassed her."

Dubravko Jagatić Rolling Stone No.10, July 20

ULIKA revival CD review / Cantus (HR)

An explosion of creativity dedicated to her Grandmother
Tamara Obrovac's imagination has no end, and since she is musically so well-grounded she can fully relax and give in to the current situation.

...the compositions are the same as on the CD "Ulika" from 1998, but the performance is different; namely, during series of concert performances her music has evolved... different versions of the same song arise and each is so special that it, by itself, is a new piece of music.
Jazz is just one of the stylistic features of her work. It is primarily based on her personal vision of her istrian musical tradition – the culture, the language, the customs, which she observes, studies and uses as inspiration to create distinctive and unique art.
Her music cannot be classified in any existing genre, its continuous flow and development cannot be stopped or even caught; an occasional segment can merely conjure up a fraction, a moment which is documented on the album.
In order to fathom the essence of Tamara Obrovac's music, it is not enough to just listen to her albums, one should listen her perform on concerts, on a series of concerts actually, because each one is different and exciting in its own way.
She writes her songs wisely, not just as a modern vision of the Istrian tradition, but as incentive templates for improvisation, which provide an escape from the standard form, the possibility to play with it, to deconstruct it and, finally, to get back to its sanctuary.
Besides being beautiful and impressive melodies, her compositions provide a refuge, they are the starting and finishing points between which everything is allowed as long as it is esthetically justified.

Davor Hrvoj, July 2014.

PRESS - concert reviews

Tamara Obrovac quartet - Jazz au Chellah concert review

"She is an audience-captivating phenomenon.
With her trio she brought a different kind of energy and soon had the crowd pleading for more.
Obrovac has a phenomenal stylistic range and has the temerity to want to take her trio into any number of moods."

Sebastian Scotney / London Jazz news, September 2013. UK

Tamara Obrovac quartet - Jazz au Chellah concert review

"Obrovac indigenous music found attentive ears in the audience. Her charismatic voice and moves captured quickly the audience..."

Mehdi El Mouden, All About Jazz, September 2013. Morocco

Tamara Obrovac quartet - Jazzahead Bremen showcase 2013.>

”I was most impressed by Tamara Obrovac's performance at the Jazzahead showcase.
Tamara draws on the folk traditions of Istria but puts them in the context of a jazz trio and the resulting music is a very original and attractive blend of jazz and traditional music."

Tony Duddley Evans, April 2013, Jazzahead jury member
Artistic Adviser to Jazzlines Birmingham and Cheltenham Jazz Festival.

Tamara Obrovac at Lisinski Hall

Undoubtedly the greatest personality among Croatian female jazz vocalists, charismatic Tamara Obrovac, gave us an extremely successful concert, not only because of the packed house and the applause which lasted forever… (her eyes filled up and she said “this is one of the things in life worth living for”), but also because of her interpretation and spontaneity, her honesty and utter exposing in front of the audience to which she gave herself to the full, through the music which should no longer be put into any slot – it is world jazz, period!
Several encores, happy audience, happy Tamara… the concert worth of every praise.
Such amount of inspiration, improvisation, “conversation” and interaction between the artists on the stage is rarely seen.
“Ulika Revival” relives to the full and is right on target. A win-win situation for all parties.  Dinko Husadžić Sansky, February 16, 2012.

Tamara Obrovac  quartet : The unique sinergy of music and emotion

 Freedom and improvisation

Yesterday, the Lisinski Hall enjoyed jazz to the full.
It was a love at first sight. The rarely seen synergy of musical virtuosos and relaxed Tamara was completed by the whole-hearted energy they got in return from the grateful audience. To quote the second number performed at the concert, “without a word” a micro-cosmos of music and pleasure was created, which is impossible to put into words.

Beautiful musical experience

As often at Tamara’s concerts, “Crno zlo” (“Black Evil”) threw the audience into ecstasies. … What gives an additional quality to this song is Tamara’s very own approach to jazz: through “Crno zlo”, her fascinating ability of improvisation manifests itself in all its beauty , enrapturing the audience,making it laugh and thrilling it completely.
Each Tamara’s concert is a story for itself and no matter how many times you listen to her songs, they always sound fresh and different.
Lisinski yesterday witnessed a rarely seen synergy of musicians and their audience, which will be difficult to repeat.

Z. Jagodić, , February 16, 2012.


Additional information