Sanja Markovic Ascension Off Topic Magazine By Mario Grella

"It is certainly not easy to find a jazz musician who, in addition to voice, also uses two instruments, the tenor sax, and the soprano sax. This is the case of Sanja Markovic, with her Ascension, composed of seven very intense and well-packed pieces, of which two are instrumental. Lyrics expressing great human feelings dressing deeply researched music don't hide her native land, Serbia. Ascension is a very articulate and varied musical work, both for the multifaceted instrumental components, a real orchestra, and for the sound colors, the arrangements, and the rhythmic patterns that form a precious and multifaceted bouquet of sounds.

It Has Always Been is also a very original track, where Sanja's beautiful and warm voice opens the song and punctuates some moments of its development, then leaving the instruments free to unravel a skein of sonic and timbre individuality, particularly the wind section with Ivan Radivojevic on trumpet and Rastko Obradovic on tenor. And it is precisely the multifaceted composition of the group, where Markovic's vocal is often just one of many sound timbres, to make this record a pleasant surprise. Pleasant forays into instrumentation, apparently unusual in jazz, as happens with the harp by Gorana Curgus, which punctuates and beautifully counterpoints Sanja's voice in the dreamy The Mystery of Man, or as happens in the final part of Zhega with the "tortured" violin by Manja Ristic. Jazz with many influences, with an undoubted touch of jazz Balkanism, increasingly present and interesting on the European jazz scenes. One cannot fail to mention the other musicians, Milena Jancuric on the flute, Max Kochetov and Rastko Obradovic on the soprano and tenor sax, Igor Lazic on the French horn and Mihajlo Bogosavljevic on trombone, Mina Djekic on violin, Julijana Markovic and Ivana Grahovac on the cello, Aleksandar Buzadzic on melodica, Aleksandar Grujic on the piano and electric piano, Miroslav Tovirac on electric bass, Milan Nikolic on double bass, Pedja Milutinovic, Petar Radmilovic and Igor Malesevic on drums. The A.MA Records label wanted to do things big for this refined, complete, inviting work."