The great artist reflects on career
From 22/ 3/2019
Ingolstadt. I was a little under the impression that one of the most important European trumpeters was reflecting on his artistic career that evening at the Audi-Forum.
Duško Gojković is an artist that moved out of former Yugoslavia and become one of the true greats in the world of jazz. He performs his pieces frequently, along with the Radio Television of Serbia Big Band, and what has always set them apart is the fact that the artist’s heritage can be identified in their sound.
“We’ve known each other for about a hundred years”, Duško Gojković, who has in the meantime tuned 87, says winking. “The boys in the band,” some of whom might as well be his grandchildren and great-grandchildren, “are doing an outstanding job.” This is a statement that can indeed be made public, since the band’s interpretations are remarkable. They exude precision, discipline and team spirit, as well as a particular playing character, demonstrating the strength of steel in the quick numbers, subtle feelings in the ballads, sensing the beat of swing and the groove of bebop. That distinctiveness is thanks to the energetic sound of four trombones, five trumpets and five saxophones, which sweep together with the pulse of the rhythm section, evoking the images of waves breaking against cliffs.
Gojković honoured his predecessors and contemporaries with his own music which he performed that night. He dedicated “Remember Dizzy” to Dizzy Gillespie. The number “One For Clook” was written in honour of the great drummer Kenny Clarke, and the sound of the endlessly lonely trumpet in the composition “Ballad For Miles”, rounded up by warm acoustic colour of the Big Band, was envisioned as a remembrance of Miles Davis. He dedicated “Rebop” to Manfred Rehm, since the composition had originally been recorded in his jazz club “Birdland” in Neuburg, along with other compositions from his current CD by the same name.
Gojković is an exceptional trumpeter. The sound of his compositions, but also the sound of his instrument reveals his heritage. Here we have an author who has created wonderful melodies such as “Manhattan Mood” or “Samba Tzigane”, which reveal one side of his personality. However, on the same night he demonstrated the skills of an arranger in an extraordinary way. The repertoire, originally composed for smaller groups – quartets or quintets, was professionally rearranged by the author for a group such as the Big Band. This speaks not only of his high level of creativity, but also of his delicate sense for providing the composition with new flavour without taking away from its actual character.
Duško Gojković and the Radio Television of Serbia Big Band. The collective sound of the soloist and nineteen musicians, equal musical partners, demonstrating mutual respect for one another and connected by their love for bebop, blues, swing and Latin music.
The review was translated from German to Serbian by Bojana Denić.
PHOTO Marko Djoković