MP3 Blazzaj - Macadam
This album''s style is a Gentle Fusion of Modern Live Music (GeFuMoLiMu). Various tracks of it may be seen as species of Rock, Jazz, Pop or Hip-hop. Clean Urban Tasteful Sound (CUTS)... In brief, GEFUMOLIMU CUTS
12 MP3 Songs
POP: with Live-band Production, WORLD: Eastern European
BLAZZAJ - THE BAND
Have you ever heard of a band citing Jamiroquai, Rammstein and John Coltrane as influences? This is the one.
Blazzaj is an eclectic Romanian group of musicians of very different backgrounds. At the time of these recordings it was led by a Jazz saxophonist and included a highly respected Hardcore vocalist, a Heavy Metal guitar hero, two of the most prestigious bass players in Romania switching places in the rhythm section, a nationally awarded trumpet player and a veteran drummer who made his debut long before the fall of the Iron Curtain. Their Romanian lyrics are carefully crafted and the whole sound is as surprising as their name''s backward translation which actually means "White Jazz" (Jazz Alb).
After its first 1998 release, "Atentie!" (Warning!), Blazzaj enjoyed increasing national audience in spite of the label''s (A&A, regional Warner Music licensee) lack of promotion. It was a cult presence in the live music clubs and festivals all around the country, sticking out of the crowd due to its jazzy arrangements and the constant use of the horn section. And it still is at the moment, in spite of frequent changes of lineup.
MACADAM - THE ALBUM
Macadam is their second release and it also marks the birth of the independent label "Rockarolla", which is based in the same town of Timisoara. This is the capital city of Banat province of Western Romania and Serbia, whose distinct spirit within the music scene they share, and whose history is more closely related to neighbouring Transylvania then to the rest of country. The whole production is geography conscientious, several tracks of both albums are inspired from folk music and their accents and vocabulary are also specific.
Eddie Neumann is the long established songwriter and arranger of the group. On Macadam he also plays keyboards, saxophone and shares the vocal parts, and not surprisingly his departure from the group shortly after the release was seen as a serious blow to the band by many of the fans and critics. He is one of the most talented jazz freelancers from Romania. His music won several national awards and presently he performs internationally under his own name.
Blazzaj are that kind of fiercely independent band that are passionate about playing live, having the right attitude and denouncing the thriving lifeless products of show business. They are some of the most respected musicians in their country and they approach every track with equal consideration.
You are looking at one of Romania''s finest albums.
1. We are listening Tavi singing a weird funk line alternating with horn riffs, on top of a vicious x-bass which finally takes a master''s solo. Title''s translation is "You Name It, I''ve Got It" and it is an enumeration of articles to be found nowhere on the planet such as "the Goat coachman", " the fly-in-the-toffee" or "the pointed walk" (perhaps excepting Monty Python''s Flying Circus). It is a good hint of the band''s live sound in 2001, which abused funk licks and used extensive saxophone, guitars and trumpet improvisations for the sake of dancing.
2. Mai Mult means "I Want More!" and in this demand huddles together food, spices, disappearance of TV personalities, shortage of bus seats and ethical commandments in a candid hip-hop manner. The chorus is sung loosely by all the boys, geometrically, purposely lacking tuning and they sound as if having been starving for days. Who knows?
3. Listening to the third track, "One Thing", lots of band''s fans may have checked the cover twice to make sure. At all typical, this is a love song (and so are most of the remaining tracks!!!) and Eddie''s first performance as a vocalist. Most interesting, the soprano sax sounds in parts very much like a violin.
4. McAdam, John Loudon (1756-1836) is the Scottish inventor of the macadam road surface. Macadam means the same thing is in Romanian (as well as "fine"). The song is about being always on the road, a traveler''s reggae. The chorus says: "Soft grass, no pain, macadam". They couldn''t get MC Solaar as guest and so you can hear Eddie reciting Goethe''s Faust prologue in French.
5. Faptele''s philosophy is that "It''s Not Enough Just to Say I Love You, What Matter''s What You Do" which is generally acknowledged within the female population. It''s the oldest song on the album and some years earlier a feature version with Mara on vocals was well known on Bucharest radios. Latin sound, too catchy for some but with a very genuine feel.
6. Track six, "We Bring Warmth to the Nation", very programmatically starts with a guitar solo, turns into drum''n''base, then hip-hop, then skillfully all the way back with outstanding fluency. Strange and beautiful music, and all played live. Its lyrics are talking about sincerity in the show business. Band''s most admired track.
7. I never heard anyone citing Cina (Dinner) as their favorite song. Cleaning the house and preparing dinner, that''s what it is about! Surely too middle class, nobody bothers to clean and cook apart from grandma. Kind of Barry White, another love song, at this point the acquainted listener would have realized how big a change the album was. The first album was all about humour, this one is about love.
8. "I''m on Your Side" says the chorus. It is a very fine song ending with a messianic soprano saxophone solo. The middle text is inspired from Psalms. Wicked.
9. Blazzaj started as a avantgarde band and Piersicoaso (Peachy) is a reminder of that. It is a cinematographical experience having a trumpet and a truely beautiful poem as characters. Nichita Stanescu is a Romanian poet who was nominated alongside Borges to Nobel Prize in 1980 by the Swedish Academy. He died in 1983. This poem here has never been published before Blazzaj. Watch out: the stereo channels are completely separated and you shouldn''t listen to it too much on headphones unless you hold a Saturnian passport.
10. Urma (The Path) is a magic song inspired from Jewish and Slavic Balkan folk music which turns into Rammstein-style heavy metal. Surprisingly, it is the most appreciated track.
11. Urma (live) I told you it''s the most appreciated. This is a live version taken from a bootleg; it has got some microphone squeaks and lacks tuning in parts but who cares.
12. Urma (video) check it, independent video, they bothered to produce a special audio track as well. Lucian Onita is a very fine Baritone who is singing it here.
Amazing fusion, including English humour and Balkan passion. Hear it and buy it!
Eddie Neumann songwriter, vocal, saxophone, keyboards
Tavi Horvath vocal
Petrica Ionutescu trumpet
Horia Crisovan guitar
Utu Pascu bass
Florin Barbu bass
Vali Potra drums
Levi Molnar percussion (11)
Lucian Onita vocal (12)
The album was recorded at Taboo Studio (Arad) and Nonnut Studio (Timisoara) in June 2002. The mixing and mastering were done at ICC Studios Eastbourne, UK in November 2002.
Your Path (Tracks 10-12)
by Eddie Neumann
--This is dedicated to Lucian Blaga, a Romanian poet and philosopher. It contains a few quotes from his first published volume “The Poems of Light” (1919)--
--Translated from Romanian--
Hear my soul, he went away
And I don''t know which way he is
To be found
Hear the stars, sick with thoughts
Conquering the sorrow of the day
I was born
Do you not foresee the madness
That my heart is having when
You''re not around?
I am looking for a nest in this tree
where the clay sings a carillon
clean as tears
In the dark depth of the night
When my heart is conquered by
Eager and thirsty eyes
Forever searching for your
Oh, your sweet shadow
Oh, your blind path
I''m with you everywhere
I saw your face beyond the train''s dark windows
And I was caught by dawn
People were all peevishly sleeping doubled up all around me
And I apologized for them
I saw your face when the wind was wiping his tears off the glasses
Spliced on my being, this huge world aches like a wound
I saw your face and I closed my eyes
To embrace it
Oh, your sweet shadow
Oh, your blind path
I''m with you everywhere
The album''s liner notes and lyrics are in Romanian. English translation of all tracks will soon be available.