Right from the start of Something Beautiful: 1709 - 2110, Marko Djordjevic reminded me of a drummer one rarely ever hears about, even though he was at one time a powerful up-and-comer and is still around, playing as muscularly as ever: Ronald Shannon Jackson. The reason for the kindredness twixt Jackson and Djordjevic is readily apparent: both are absolutely fearless, take control from the moment the music starts, and have zero back-off. Good percussionists are fairly common, powerful drummers less so, but cats who can bend the kit to their will without even thinking about it demonstrate a rare personality in music, one usually only seen in the best death/speed/tech metal skinspounders.
Not a moment goes by that Djordjevic's array isn't as much front instrument as the saxists or pianist. In fact, the real lead voice in the disc is indeed that ferocious and often quite intricate tack the percussionist takes, himself as much a resonant element of the kit as the drum pieces themselves. This is unusual. Most drummers merely sit at the controls, but magazines and books have already picked up on Marko as a force of nature at one and enmeshed within his instrument. The promo lit poses the CD's ensemble work as "attentive, unselfish, and multidirectional interplay", and I have little quibble with that except for this: you could no more hold back Djurdjevic than you could Ritchie Blackmore, Anthony Braxton, Jimi Hendrix, Larry Coryell, Keith Emerson, Keith Moon, or any musician imbued with an indomitable spirit and artistry which can find no other expression than exactly as it's laid out. So, sure, it is multidirectional but in a way that rests first in the drums and the flow of unending creativity bursting from them.
Djordjevic is young and plainly set to join the true greats. As with gents like Jon Christensen, Jack DeJohnette, Billy Cobham, and others, an uninterrupted loop flows from mind and heart into hands then through the drums and back again. There's no separation of facilities or faculties, it's all one. And…ohh wait…there's a band, Sveti, too? Just kidding…but not by much. They're good, especially pianist Bobby Avey, but I'm telling you now that Marko Djurdjevic has yet to find his true home. When he does, look out! I can't even guess what that'll mean except to hark back to Mahavishnu Orchestra, Univers Zero, King Crimson, and so on, because when it comes to the traps, this guy defines 'progression'.
Wait a minute………did I just spend an entire review writing about a drummer?
Edited by: David N. Pyles
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