Dusan Bogdanovic

Unconscious in Brazil

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At first blush, Dusan Bogdanovic's Unconscious in Brazil may seem a little like a crossover album due to this virtuoso guitarist's phenomenal versatility in classical, jazz, and international genres. But because of his genuine musicality, this album has none of the false hybridization or kitsch of a commercially contrived hodgepodge. To the contrary, Bogdanovic's intricate compositions and fluid improvisations are the result of years of serious study, vivid cultural experiences, and deep internalization of many musical styles, from European early music to contemporary pop instrumentals; so what comes out in his compositions and his playing is sophisticated, true to the spirit of his original sources, yet original and personally communicative of his world view. One of this artist's signature traits is the rhythmic complexity he flaunts in his pieces, overtly stated in the title of his intriguing Polymetric Studies, but apparent in all the other works as well. Bogdanovic is not especially adventurous in his explorations of tonality or harmony -- indeed, his music is almost bland in these areas, except for a few of his spicier jazz progressions -- but his cross-rhythms, syncopations, and metric shifts are fascinating to follow. Sometimes reminiscent of the late medieval ars subtilior, where elaborate rhythmic play was the dominant feature, the tricky combinations in the Levantine Suite, Little Café Suite, and Diferencias Diferentes are quite striking and add considerable interest to Bogdanovic's otherwise mild music. Yet some listeners may find Bogdanovic's greatest strength lies in his ability to evoke many types of world music, such as the jovial township dancing in the Allegro ritmico of Three African Sketches, or the languid tropical reverie of the title track. There are suggestions of many other lands and musical flavors throughout the disc, yet these are so well assimilated in Bogdanovic's style that listeners may find it easier to let the music take them wherever it will, without teasing out precise international references. GSP's recording is close-up and clear, so every nuance of Bogdanovic's playing is audible, as well as his occasional humming, which is most annoying in Intimations No. 2.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
African Sketches (3), for guitar
1 1:21
2 1:56
3 1:47
Levantine Suite, for guitar
4 0:59
5 1:45
6 2:02
7 2:38
8 1:04
Little Café Suite, for guitar
9 1:47
10 1:35
11 2:59
12 1:07
Polymetric Studies, for guitar
13 2:05
14 3:25
15 1:36
16 1:17
17 1:22
18 4:49
In Winter Garden, for guitar
19 1:48
20 1:19
21 1:24
22 1:57
23 1:30
24 4:27
Intimations, for guitar
25 1:52
26 2:59
27 1:56
28 2:01
blue highlight denotes track pick