Alexander Zonjic has been doing his thing since the 1980s. The flute is his main instrument, and in addition to his album releases and playing with some of the most well known orchestras, he is also known for producing large music festivals every single year.
Zonjic's last release came out about ten years ago, so the new material is definitely appreciated.
The album is called Playing It Forward, and it features some of his friends, including the late Chuck Loeb, Paul Jackson Jr, and the talented newcomer Justin-Lee Schultz.
Let's get into the music!
Review - 'Playing It Forward' by Alexander Zonjic
The set kicks off with Jazz Café. This is the first of three tracks that feature Chuck Loeb. We are going to go with funk lite on this one. It is a song that will get you up and moving, BUT those who are not really into smooth jazz will like this groove. Zonjic's flute really has a smooth flow.
In Benita, the drums will immediately catch your attention. It is almost a funky drummer clone, and Zonjic keeps up with an amazing flute arrangement. You throw in those chords and a violin solo, and you have a really nice track.
Hipster is up next. There is nice horn accompaniment that adds to the flute play, and they go really well together. Funny thing...we can totally visualize a Hipster strutting down the street with this track as the theme music!
Night Crawler is one of those slunky tracks...slow but funky. The bassline drives the groove and the horn section is back. Throw some rhythm guitar along with the flute arrangement, and you have a track that you may just have to play twice to get all of that goodness.
The funky tracks keep coming with Motor City Sway. This features the young and talented Justin-Lee Schultz. Zonjic is really rolling here, and with Schultz on the piano, this is more of an R&B track. The addition of the vocoder adds to the overall feel to the song.
Chuck Loeb is featured on the title track, Playing It Forward. This is a song done in the Loeb style, and it seems to be a fitting tribute to the late legend.
The pace slows a little with Musaic. This is the third track to feature Loeb, and everything seems to work here. That flute sounds great, and this is a track that you can add to your chilled out playlist.
Living In The Past has a little island flair to it. The slower groove allow Zonjic to show off his skills, and he really takes advantage, especially toward the end as he heats it up.
Nature Boy is next. This is more of a live jam session, and in addition to the flute, the keys are tight and the drums drive the song. If you listen closely, you will hear those rhythm guitar fills. The bass then ties it all together.
They pick up the pace again with Bottom Heat. We really do not hear the flute as a lead instrument that often, but Zonjic's style makes you want to hear some more. Listening to this track, Zonjic shows that he is one of the best.
The project concludes with a remake of the song Rolling In The Deep. This track lends itself well to an instrumental. It does have a full background vocal, almost like a choir. In addition to being the last track on the album, this would be a great closing number for his live show. There is a lot to like with this track.
Playing It Forward is the latest release from Alexander Zonjic, and there are several tracks on this album that you will love. Although the live shows are still a ways away, you can still experience Zonjic and the great music that he has recorded. You can stream Playing It Forward through your favorite service.