Multi-award winning guitarist Denis Azabagic invites listeners into a realm where world, folk, and classical music intersect on Out of Africa . . . and Around the Word, the Bosnia-born, Chicago-based virtuoso’s first solo album on Cedille Records.
Showcasing works by living composers, the album takes its title from American-born, British-based composer Alan Thomas’s evocative Out of Africa, inspired by the Karen Blixen memoir and movie of the same name. Thomas weaves together strands of African singing styles, scales, and rhythms, while paying homage to African string instruments, such as the kora and the oud.
Sarajevo-born composer Vojislav Ivanovic’s set of six Café Pieces, an audience favorite, includes an homage to Astor Piazzolla in the form of a tango with hints of Balkan jazz. Atanas Ourkouzounov takes a traditional song from his native Bulgaria as the basis for his Folk Song Variations. Carlos Rafael Rivera, an American composer of Cuban and Guatemalan descent, says his Canción came to him in a moment of inspiration, with no evident folk music connections. Dusan Bogdanovic employs a kaleidoscope of styles in Blues and Seven Variations, including big band orchestration and a Brazilian carnival rhythm
"... Azabagic’s playing is expert, technically flawless, ever inventive, with rock-solid rhythm and gorgeous tone. With him, the competition system clearly works."
Kenneth Keaton - American Record Guide - March/April 2014
"... Azabagic’s idiomatic, tachnically flawless performances of this colorful repertoire should be required listening for guitar lovers everywhere."
Robert Schulslaper - Fanfare - March/April 2014