The Montenegrin jazz-fusion sextet Kuhinjazz has just released its first album, “Kuhinjazz”, which is currently available on all platforms.
The recent worldwide pandemic and the resulting forced isolation left many musicians alone with their art. Some of them took advantage of this to compose even more, being less solicited and preoccupied with the organization of their concerts and tours. At the end of the day, or rather of the tunnel, it is a chance for us, their listeners.
The members of Kuhinjazz, who have been friends for a long time and live around Podgoriça, Montenegro, a small mountainous country nestled on the Adriatic Sea, pushed by the band’s bass player Slaven Ljujic, worked hard to create five original compositions.
The six artists, all with different musical backgrounds, came together with the idea of breaking free from the shackles and bringing their own musical ideas to the table. They made their “cooking” together. As one cooks with friends, each one adding his grind of salt, his spices. (from where Kuhin in Serbo-Croatian)
Most often, as a group, they created the arrangements, and each was able to contribute their ability to play multiple instruments during the sessions. The mix of different influences and previous musical experiences, as well as the enthusiasm and passion for collaboration and interpretation of the music, gave them the power to continue to evolve in their conception of music as individuals.
Listening to Kuhinjazz, one feels the power of the collective because a powerful interplay reigns between the members coming however from different horizons and even from varied musical universes (jazz, progressive rock, classic…) to lead to a welded and successful jazz fusion.
The desire to play together, to listen, to have minds that are always on the alert and in love with freedom, are the fundamentals of improvised music and in particular of jazz. Everything is there, although the writing work shows that these musicians have followed solid training, either in classical music or in jazz (Slaven Ljujić, the bassist, graduated with honors from Berklee College of Music in Boston).
The sextet thus offers us for this first opus, a resolutely modern jazz which prints with various musical aesthetics. And that’s its charm.
Being part of the France-Jazz Balkans association, we had the opportunity and especially the chance to attend two live concerts during the J.A.M Festival in Podgoriça in April 2022 and we were impressed by the technical mastery of the instrumentalists and by the finely chiseled arrangements that the group offered in front of a quickly conquered audience.
Listening to the album “Kuhinjazz” one can marvel at the work done to achieve this first collective creation of high quality.
It is with unanimity of the editorial committee that we awarded them an enthusiastic “Hit Couleurs Jazz“. Since its release, the album has been selected on Couleurs Jazz Radio.
We hope to see them soon programmed in the different European festivals and in particular in France.
Enes Tahirović: piano & keyboards;
Martin Đorđević: drums;
Slaven Ljujić: bass, percussion & guitar;
Luna Kostadinović: violin;
Stefan Pavićević: saxophone;
Dejan Ljujić: trombone et guitare.
Kuhinjazz is released by Sequoia Music