Jazz is definitely one of these genres that were always there in the modern music and that will be played until the end of the world, therefore challenging it and creating something original might seem an overwhelming task for artists. However, jazz is also the most flexible type of music, in which there will never be a final word said – it’s like a book written by thousands of writers with another thousands waiting for their time to contribute. One of these writers is EYOT, a group of four people who recently added a new chapter to the book. It’s called “Similarity”.
I always considered jazz to be the music that can make you go into trance. Probably that’s why I prefer listening to musicians like Coltrane or Monk, who used typical jazz instruments, did crazy things with them and then recorded their craziness on vinyl. Although, Eyot is hard to compare to these two jazzmen (the timespan between them as the first reason alone!), Serbs do possess this jazzy spark. Despite some post-rock inspirations can be heard, Eyot is a band of jazzmen willing to do something new in jazz, contrary to, for example Bohren & Der Club Of Gore who are rather metalheads willing to play jazz.
RELEASE DATE: 05 August 2014 LABEL: Ninety and Nine Records
Purchase at Official Website
Music of Serbs is a combination of sniping precision, instrumental skill and realization that in music you can do anything you want. The result are eight impeccably constructed coherent songs that will make you drift into a smoky bar, somewhere in New York, just to take you to a beatnik binge where drunk poets are getting high while listening to this extremely loudly, and then to some art opening with painters carefully analyzing every sound and nodding to each other with appreciation. This is not an album that fits only a single occasion – it can be either listened to as a background, but also with headphones and lights turned off, when you get the most out of the music. Personally, I enjoyed it the most when riding a bike around my hometown – Eyot’s modern and spacious jazz perfectly corresponded to quick shifts of architectural images.
If jazz was a place it would be the bar I mentioned before – full of cigarette smoke and people, making the air inside dense. What Eyot does is they take this crowded bar, widen its walls and then paint them with loads of bright colors. Having done that, they take out their equipment and set it up in the corner of this really spacious, loft-like room. When they start to play, there are people who come to listen. Although there is a lot of space in the room, they sit close to the amplifiers so that they can hear every detail. Therefore, the space remains and becomes a distinctive feature of Eyot’s jazz, supported mostly by balanced guitar, which is nicely juxtaposed by a fierce, virtuosing piano, unrestricted by any limitations. Despite being two separate spirits on this album, guitar and piano reinforce each other perfectly, which can be heard the most in an otherwordly intro for “New Passover” – my favorite track from “Similarity”. The struggle and friendship between guitar and piano is wrapped around incredibly timed drumming and sexy bass licks making Eyot sound like a proper whole. The cover artwork, designed by Marko Miladinović perfectly corresponds to the delicate yet concrete character of “Similarity”. It also brings out some notions of Bauhaus-like urban space – a space where jazz feels at home.
Seems like the hard task of creating something new in jazz is not that hard when you give it to the right people, and Eyot are surely these kind of men. They don’t try to get the hype, instead they do what they feel like doing the most. That’s why their third LP (some say that third album confirms whether the band still has ideas or not) “Similarity” is full of life, professionalism and comfort coming from playing with people that know each other for a long time. They all know their strengths and limitations (for example, Dejan Ilijic, the pianist, has no limits!) and they do implement this into their music creating a sophisticated piece of music which is a little gem in the jazz book.
WATCH: EYOT – SIMILARITY [LIVE | NATIONAL THEATER NIS]