Take a look at the list of influences that Serbian guitar master Goran Ivanovic claims on the MySpace page of his great gypsy Jazz/World group, Eastern Blok, and you can form an interesting opinion based on that information. First, a good many of his countrymen show up on the list, so if you guessed that Ivanovic leans toward Balkan traditionalism, you’d be right. Brazilian Jazz/Flamenco guitarist Paco de Lucia, banjo virtuoso Bela Fleck and Garaj Mahal’s Fareed Haque also figure pretty highly in Ivanovic’s roll call, and it’s certainly not difficult to hear their strains in his supple, speedy and precise playing style.
And what are we to make of fascinating entries like Oregon, John Coltrane, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Sidney Bechet, Debussy, Bach and Miles Davis twice? Rest assured that if Ivanovic tips his cap to them, you’re likely to hear ephemeral traces of their work in the sinewy and exhilarating Jazz/Klezmer/Folk flights of the guitarist and his band of gypsies.
Eastern Blok swings by Blue Wisp Jazz Club Friday.