Sanja Markovic, Ascension Review
Sanja Markovic is a composer, jazz vocalist, multi-instrumentalist, and producer born in Belgrade and lived on the East Coast of the United States. Markovic has composed and performed for various theaters and music/theater groups and is an active jazz singer. She writes big band arrangements and has developed a taste for short semi-commercial forms. Markovic has also learned about music production at the “Water Music Studio” with Rob Grenoble, Hoboken, NJ – a love that was first started next to her father and uncle, who had worked at two influential studios in old Yugoslavia. Markovic explains, “Gentle and wondrous effects of my childhood have left me little choice but to never step aside from music and love of creation. Toggling as a teenager between East Coast US and my hometown of Zemun (Belgrade, Serbia), I’ve continued on my varying musical path from studying classical music to developing a passion and taste for live jazz music. Expressing my ideas in these past years has led me to embark upon a solitary path of composition and music production.” Markovic is now releasing her debut album titled Ascension.Bottom Line: On Ascension, Markovic is a vocalist, multi-instrumentalist (tenor and soprano saxophone), arranger, and composer. She is joined by a nineteen-piece ensemble that creates a cross between world music, European jazz, Fusion, and East Coast jazz. The musicians change every song, but the primary ensemble is Milena Jancuric: flute; Max Kochetov: saxophone, soprano; Ivan Radivojevic: trumpet; Aleksandar Grujic: piano; Miroslav Tovirac: bass, electric; Igor Malesevic: drums; Mina Djekic: violin; Julijana Markovic: cello. The album has seven selections, six being Markovic originals written in a contemporary jazz language that speaks about love and humanity. “Ascension” has multiple instrumental colors, and Markovic uses effects on her voice to color her singing and speaking. Her contralto voice is very pleasing, and the composition is an adventure in sounds and textures. The violin and cello add a special touch. “N’ Anya” has a hip bass line and relaxed exotic melody. Markovic is featured on tenor saxophone on this one. Her playing is confident and flowing. Grujic’s piano solo is enjoyable and matches Markovic’s colors and intensity. “Sovereign State of Mind” has Markovic singing a beautiful melody and the haunting sounds of melodica by Aleksandar Buzadžić. Overall, the set of music is excellent. The compositions are fascinating, and Markovic’s singing is beautiful. Her vocals could be a little louder in the mix, as sometimes it is hard to hear all the lyrics and her lovely vocal timbre. That aside, it is a tremendous first outing, and that’s the short of it!
Connect with Sanja Markovic: Website |
It Has Always Been
The Mystery of Man
Sovereign State of Mind
Release Date: April 24, 2020