CAT # HUCD3088-25
1. Leave It With Me 4:27 2. Seldom Blues 4:37 3. AZ Does It 4:31 4. Isabela 4:16 5. People Make The World Go Round 4:29 6. Spill The Wine 4:29 7. Sweat 4:16 8. Under the Moon and Over the Sky 4:23 9. Quantum 5:03 10. Britters 4:30
For all of his success as a musician, Detroit-based contemporary jazz virtuoso Alexander Zonjic is also something of a juggler. In addition to his primary career as a flutist, performing over 100 shows a year, Zonjic is part owner of a newly opened nightclub serving the Motor City, and host of a popular five-day-a-week morning show on Detroit’s Smooth Jazz V98.7.
While some musicians might be overwhelmed by such a hectic and diverse schedule, Zonjic maintains a positive, forward-thinking attitude that permeates his music.
The album includes guest appearances by – and collaborative efforts with – a broad range of stellar artists, arrangers and producers: Bob James, Kirk Whalum, Angela Bofill, Peter White, labelmate James Lloyd from Pieces of a Dream, and others. The hip-hop-flavored title track, penned by Bob James, takes its name from Zonjic’s new nightclub and celebrates the positive vibe that’s been moving through Detroit after decades of socio-economic struggle. Detroit-based vocalist/songwriter/musician Kem, still riding the wave of his highly successful 2002 Motown debut album, helps out with vocals on “Seldom Blues.”
“I wanted this record to be upbeat,” says Zonjic, “More upbeat than any of my other records. I wanted this to be more groove-oriented and include a lot of tunes that would really work great live… The club is part of a big renaissance here in Detroit, and it’s really created a wonderful vibe. I can’t tell you how exciting it is to be at the root of something that has lifted the spirits of a city so much.”
Other highlights on the album include a rousing cover of Angela Bofill’s “Under the Moon and Over the Sky,” arranged by James Lloyd. Bofill herself steps in and contributes the vocal track on Zonjic’s version of her 1983 hit. “Angela and I have been working together for a number of years,” says Zonjic. “It’s so cool to be able to stay in this business long enough to be able to work with someone you’ve been such a big fan of. I told her I was going to do that tune on my next record, and I wanted her to have some role in it.”
Zonjic’s cover of the trippy 1970 Eric Burdon/War hit “Spill the Wine,” produced by Jeff Lorber, is crafted with a decidedly urban/island vibe. “When I ran the idea of ‘Spill the Wine’ by Jeff, he just lit up,” says Zonjic. “We did it with a little bit of humor, but we were still able to capture some of the magic of the original. Then when it came time to do the vocals, I immediately thought of Kevin Whalum, Kirk’s brother. I’ve seen him perform live so many times. He’s theatrical. He’s a force on the stage. It’s just too cool what Kevin did with the song.”
Seldom Blues, says Zonjic, ratchets up the energy level a few notches since his 2001 Heads Up release, Reach for the Sky. “There’s a lot more energy on this record, and that’s not to say there was no energy on Reach for the Sky. I had beautiful tunes on that project. But there are more upbeat grooves on this record than on any of my others. It’s never the same old same old. I’m always looking forward. I’m always optimistic.”
Find out more about Alexander Zonjic