Boban Marković

Go Marko Go !

Piranha CD-PIR2121


Full Price (50 mins)

Originally published in Songlines.

From US politicians to Serbian Roma trumpeters, the lure of the dynasty can be too great to resist. Many top Balkan brass players – like Feat Sejdić and current golden boy Ekrem Mamutović – once earned their chops in their father’s, or even their grandfather’s band, and now it is the turn of Marko, 17-year old son of Serbian trumpet star Boban Marković, to take over the reins. The record is hit and miss: the band are on fire as always, and Marko is obviously bursting with ideas, throwing jazz, funk and pop into the mix, but what the album clearly lacks is the guiding ear of an external producer to pull everything into a coherent whole. When he does team up with an experienced outsider like Shantel for Pijem (Me Mangava), the result is outstanding, all head-nodding drum patterns and catchy, lilting vocal lines. Elsewhere though it can get a bit out of control: tracks like Evo Je Mlada and Džumbus Funk with their big Hollywood-style brass lines and jazz solos are brash and over-ambitious. It’s all gone a bit showbiz: the Cuban influenced Latino Čoček wouldn’t sound out of place in a Las Vegas ballroom; Bubamara feels like an encore at the end of a long, tiring tour: somebody keeps jumping in and ruining an otherwise beautiful rendition of the standard Ne Kuni Me, Ne Ruži Majko with pointless blasts of Bregovic’s frenetic party number Kalashnikov. A good example of why great musicians shouldn’t produce their own albums.

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