photo Vladan Cvetković
Jovan Milovanović Quartet
Jovan Milovanović - guitar
Kristijan Mlačak – tenor and soprano saxophone
Milan Nikolić – double bass and electric bass
Aleksandar Cvetković Drama – drums
The emergence of guitarist and composer Jovan Milovanović (Belgrade, 1977) and his debut album are the most pleasant surprises of the jazzer year 2022 in Serbia. In the early 2000s, Milovanović finished jazz guitar and composition at Berklee College in Boston (professors: Mick Goodrick, Greg Hopkins, Hal Crook, Bruce Bartlett), but upon his return, he quit music (he was involved in management - but not in culture), only recently starting to play more often, first in a duo with Ivan Maksimović, or in an organ trio with Aleksandar Grujić and Aleksandar Cvetković Drama. For his recording debut, he chose the format of a quartet consisting of experienced musicians from the Serbian scene, Kristijan Mlačak, Milan Nikolić and Aleksandar Cvetković Drama. The album Away From You, with eight tracks by Milovanović, was released by Shifting Paradigm Records from Minneapolis. He sought inspiration from his life experiences, dedicating his music to personal heroes, including Wayne Shorter, Chick Corea, Bill Evans, John Scofield, Branford Marsalis and Radomir Mihajlović Točak. The album gained considerable attention from jazz critics from Great Britain, to Norway to Japan.
His auteur potential leaves the strongest impression, reflecting in the best way his education in America. He glides smoothly between different forms of contemporary mainstream: the themes are meticulously shaped and memorable, the groove is bouncing but tempered, and the guitar chords provide a warm environment for developing likable musical ideas. The playing competence of all quartet members makes the improvisation segments exciting, most often in the manner of post-bap.