Igor Gerzina — Metropolis

June 21, 2012

Croatian saxman/producer Igor Gerzina, winner of several Croatian awards, including best instrumentalist, struts his veteran talents proudly on Metropolis, his newest well-written and well-performed release. 

Being well-versed in several genres including jazz, funk, and soul, you can immediately hear some sounds that feel like “home” as he lights into tracks like “Inner Sight,” a tune filled with a very Euge Groove-like vibe and style. The catchiness of the hook, the appealing melody, and the drive so remind you of any one of Euge’s funky offerings.  This track is followed by the up-tempo, foot-stomping “Metropolis Night” and clearly reveals the intentions of this saxman: To set you and his set on fire from the word “go.”

This entire album has bounce, attitude, drive, and muscle – very much the kind of smooth jazz that keeps devoted jazzers devoted. For those new to Gerzina, I can envision you taking one good listen then asking: Where has this guy been??

Even his toned-down tunes, like “Simple Road” carry as much soul as you can get in one song, capped by sweet, melodic sax runs truly meant for “those” moments. The clarity and deep-reaching richness of his tenor sax do things to you.

These original compositions are hell-bent on moving you, stirring you, and even mesmerizing and holding you captive in each mood they offer. Just one of several sweat-inducing tracks, “Wireless Connection,” tells the whole story for this release.

Is this guy good at what he does? Does he really know smooth jazz? Can he play sax that well? Consider this: I can bet that you’ll feel practically exhausted from the powerful pull of this material by track four — with 7 more tracks yet to go.  With that in mind, I think a resounding “yes” will be your response.

Easily batting 11 for 11 by my count and ears, Gerzina has a prize of a project here, and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if his award captures don’t include at least one American one for this effort. At the very least, I’d expect one or more of these gems to ride high on the American charts. Superb offering. – Ronald Jackson

Note: No Amazon Mp3 sampler is available. However, this release and sound samples are available through CDbaby.