The word “revolution” may suggest a violent upheaval, but only because the word has become fallaciously politicised. In actual fact, the most basic definition of the word is “a sudden, radical or complete change”. This is true also of the political usage of the term. But it is with reference to its elemental meaning that the pianist Zen Zadravec dedicates this music, and even uses the word “human” to suggest the intention for an infinitely deeper meaning for his music on Human Revolution. The reason is as simple as the fact that as a race, humans are – now, more than ever – in need of radical and complete change.
It is truly ironic that as perhaps the most complete and sophisticated creatures in the animal kingdom, each society of humans seems always in need of that constant renewal. In choosing his musical art – improvising with sublime command of the piano and all that it can do in the realm of music – Mr Zadravec has created an album of songs that he ought to be [justifiably] proud of. Curiously, though, Mr Zadravec’s pianism might be deemed to be at odds with the avowed Buddhist calm of a thero. His pianism seems heavily percussive at first and you really have to wait until you get to Mal Waldron’s “Soul Eyes” to “feel” his inner calm. But his technique is, nevertheless, quite flawless and it is wholly in keeping with the stated aim of his music, which is to invoke “Human Revolution”.
There is also much in the way of beauty in the music of this album. “Jamilah” is a truly eloquent ballad. “Lilies and Roses” is also an exquisite musical depiction of the bountiful beauty of nature. “The Nature of Things” is also no less beautiful a work of music where Mr Zadravec tackles the difficult work of rendering the seductive mystery of the natural world with enormous evocative skill. It helps to have wonderful musicians alongside him and in this regard woodwinds specialist Todd Bashore and trumpeter Derrick Gardner do yeoman work for this music. Mark Whitfield Jr’s extraordinarily sensitive drumming is also a feature of this recording, as are the soaring vocals of Dylan Bell. Each or the other musicians also give notice that they are completely attuned to Mr Zadravec’s vision and artistry, which makes this a quite unforgettable album from a prodigiously-gifted artist.
Track list – 1: The Nature of Things; 2: Mentor Disciple; 3: Live! 4: Climb; 5: Jamilah; 6: Soul Eyes; 7: Lilies and Roses; 8: Human Revolution
Personnel – Zen Zadravec: piano; Todd Bashore: alto and soprano saxophones; Derrick Gardner: trumpet; John Douglas: trumpet ; Kenny Davis: bass; Mike Pope: bass [2, 3]; Mark Whitfield Jr: drums; Dylan Bell: vocals [3, 4]
Released – 2020
Label – Marmite Records
Runtime – 1:03:24