New album - collaboration of the Transhistria ensemble with the Jazz orchestra of the Croatian National Radio Television

The album presents eleven musical performances that have also been performed live on November 28, 2020 in the Gorgona Hall in Zagreb’s Museum of Contemporary Art, when due to the anti-epidemiological measures only Tamara’s Transhistria Ensemble performed, without the Jazz Orchestra.

“On this CD we tried to combine two distinctive sounds, two unique ways of playing of two enembles, both on the musical and arrangement level as well as on the production level, so that both ensembles are equally represented and complement each other in their performances. I believe that thanks to the great arrangements of Luka Žužić, Andreas Marinello, Joe Kaplowitz and Zoran Majstorović and to the excellent performances of both ensembles, we succeeded in doing so.”

The collaboration between the Croatian Radiotelevision Jazz Orchestra and Tamara Obrovac took place at the invitation of the then conductor of the Croatian Radiotelevision Jazz Orchestra, Andreas Marinello, who does not hide his pleasure of taking part in the project.

The conception and planning of the orchestra’s concert season and possible recordings are among the duties of the artistic director of the Croatian Radiotelevision Jazz Orchestra - of course with a focus on projects with domestic artists, through cooperation with Croatian performers and authors. Choosing these projects is not always easy; the list of possible collaborators who not only meet the conditions of origin, but also of quality, is not excessively long.
Therefore, when I took over the position of chief conductor I was immediately surprised by the fact that exactly she, the artist who would be the first to come to mind when it comes to domestic jazz talents, had not been a guest of the orchestra for decades, let alone with an original program. I was even more surprised because, apart from the unquestionable popularity in Croatia and beyond - Tamara Obrovac is one of the very few Croatian names recognized outside the borders of the Republic, on all four sides of the world - the quality of her compositions, performances and musical collaborators is even less debatable. I am happy that we corrected this injustice through this collaboration, but also because the orchestra and I had the opportunity to work with the entire Transhistria Ensemble whose brilliant musicians with apparent ease, again and again, achieve seemingly contradictory feats: development in balance, individuality within a whole, breadth at any moment.
They approached the orchestral experience, which is not habitual to them, with the generosity and modesty that are the hallmarks of masters at their craft. I can only hope that the listeners will experience at least some of the great atmosphere, the joy of making music and the sincere effort that filled our days in the studio and on stage
” said the conductor Andreas Marinello.

Ivana Kocelj, head of the Music work unit at the Croatian Radiotelevision, shares the same enthusiasm for the project.

“As a rule, “less is more” is a valid statement, but sometimes it happens that “more is simply – more”. Tamara Obrovac’s unique original music, firstly intended for a quintet of voice, guitar, double bass, accordion and drums, has been built upon with the instruments of a large jazz orchestra, but an orchestra that subtly and delicately, through the arrangements of Andreas Marinello, Luka Žužić, Joseph Kaplowitz and Zoran Majstorović recognizes the essence and nature of this music, illuminates it, deepens it and makes it even more irresistible.

The fascinating creativity and virtuosity of Tamara Obrovac and the Transhistria Ensemble found a congenial creativity and virtuosity in each individual member of the Croatian Radiotelevision Jazz Orchestra and gave birth to an album which, when we look back after many years, we will be proud of and will be grateful to Tamara for accepting this challenge.”

The album Villa Idola is digitally available from Friday, 27 November and is on sale from 1 December.

Watch the recording of the concert of the two ensembles held on 6 June 2018.

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