Thank Christ pianist Matija Dedic chose to embroil himself within a trio for Sentiana 'cause the format provides both huge and tight little spaces for he and comrades to make straight-up, fusiony, avant-garde high quality jazz. Each one of these players is highly dexterous, though Dedic's the stand-out. He, however, has to fight for the top spot more than once, so apposite were his choices of sideman (Scott Colley—bass, Antonio Sanchez—drums), but the guy has fingers and brain inextricably entwined and so comes out on top…sweating and grinning. The title cut right off the bat lets you know what you're in for, but his version of Green Dolphin Street also demonstrates a quite classicalist sensibility going through non-stop changes before closing out pointillistically.
On the 10:08 Deep and 8:48 Bremen, we get the royal treatment, extended compositions allowing the gents to explore nuance after nuance. Nailing down Dedic's set of influences is difficult, though a good deal of Keith Jarrett can be detected in the opening movement to Deep, well laced with…well, hell if I can say, because Matija's subsumed whatever entranced him so well that the myriad voices have become his own. There are, however, Keith Tippetty passages as well in this track, set off by Romantic interludes. Also, there's an incisive chameleonry to the gent that has allowed him to back a wide variety of notables from Jose Feliciano to—good God, is this right?—Tommy Emmanuel, one of the most accomplished guitarists on the planet, to Lenny White and many more besides, and I doubt even Emmanuel could catch this cat off guard in any aspect.
There's no way on Earth you're going to be able use this CD for driving music or as background ambiance because it demands too much in the way of active listening, complicated and ceaselessly shifting, personal and wide open simultaneously. Colley provides great backgrounds, meaty when he nabs the spotlight, but I have to say that Antonio Sanchez is one hell of a drummer, uses his entire kit, and seems often to be two or three percussionists at once, some of the brainiest such work I've heard in years. Put the three together, and what do you get? Well, in the now-burgeoning onslaught of really great jazz, look at it this way: I've never believed in the illusion that there's too much of a good thing. Discs like Sentiana continue to prove I've been right all along.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2014, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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