Life on Earth Ratko Zjaca
- 2Sense of Mission06:22
- 3Mind Your Step07:22
- 4Shapes and Lights08:09
- 5There Is No Tomorrow05:49
- 6Here Nothing Begins08:38
- 8Finding Our Place04:45
- 9Colours of Dance05:38
Info for Life on Earth
If you compared Ratko Zjaca with a share of stock, the stock chart would clearly have to show a trend upward. Appearing as an insider‘s tip and known if all by a cionados, the exceptional Croatian guitarist has continuously worked his way up from year to year and from CD to CD. Each disc—most recently ‚Beyond The Lines“(IOR CD 77117),“Now And Then“(IOR CD 77110- 2),“The Way We Talk “with Simone Zanchini (IOR CD 77104-2) and „Continental Talk“(IOR CD 77097-2)— has revealed a signi cant increase in maturity, perfection and serenity. Stock market-af ne contemporaries are certainly going to be very pleased about the enormous growth rates, inexhaustible inventiveness, sustainability and substance of this musical security. If there were a genuine, sure re investment option with guaranteed appreciation for real lovers of jazz, it would have to bear the name Ratko Zjaca.
Alone the list of prominent co-musicians working side by side with him says a lot about the creative potential of the sympathetic string magician. John Patitucci, Randy Brecker, Steve Gadd, Adam Nussbaum, Miroslav Vitous, Reggie Workman, Al Foster, Ron Carter, Benny Bailey, Gary Peacock, Jimmy Cobb and Alvin Queen helped him over the years to learn how to listen to others, but also to sharpen his own sense of what is feasible. It seems to be a logical consequence that Grammy and Oscar winner Antonio Sanchez with his exceptional skills on the drums plays along with him on his latest album „Life On Earth“. He and Stefano Bedetti (tenor/soprano saxophone) and Renato Chicco (Hammond organ) open a new chapter in Ratko Zjaca’s travel diary, which is quite considerable in the meanwhile, and whose dream has long been a global jazz language free of national borders, ideologies and styles. „Without ever having consciously planned it, my bands have always been a mixture of musicians from all countries. It was no different this time either. Antonio comes from New York City, Stefano from Italy, Renato from Austria and I come from Croatia, although I have lived in the Netherlands for some time now. I nd such constellations extremely interesting and invigorating.“
The fact that the session of „Life On Earth“ was then also held in Italian Forli near Cesena rounds out the cosmopolitan touch. However, „Life on Earth“ is far from a random project because of that. When Ratko Zjaca, Stefano Bedetti and Renato Chicco met each other for the rst time in 2016, all three quickly sensed a deep internal connection. „It quickly became clear for me that these might be just the musicians, with whom I wanted to record at least my next album and take my next tour. You sense something like that very quickly. When I then asked Antonio, one of my all-time favorite drummers, if he would join us, my dream cast was perfect!“
However, the reputation of Ratko Zjaca would not have experienced such a rapid growth if the guitarist simply adapted to his respective environments like a chameleon as well as hid behind his prominent co-musicians subserviently and inconspicuously. In the case of Antonio Sanchez, the drummer of the Pat Metheny Group, Zjaca was even suspected of only wanting to give a veritable European blueprint of the superstar. Far from it! Whoever has followed the development of the band leader and his enormous potential, which is continually becoming increasingly clear, will nd a very individual, unmistakable musical language between European in uences and American improvisation culture as well as between small, shimmering acoustic ashes and severe storm surges. If Ratko Zjaca were a share of stock, there would only one tip: buy!
Ratko Zjaca, guitars, electronics
Renato Kiko, Hammond organ
Stefano Bedetti, tenor & soprano saxophone
Antonio Sanchez, drums
is an innovative musician, who is widely recognized as a technically advanced guitarist. He is known for being a relentless individualist, which is evidenced in his improvisational style. Ratko has had a prolific and extensive session history as a recording guitarist having played on many released recordings. He is a highly versatile player covering many areas of music but is best known for his work in the modern jazz and improvisation idiom. Ratko has released a number of albums as leader and has performed and recorded with many leading world American and European musicians.
Ratko Zjaca is considered a very gifted stylist, assumes many roles in his macrocosm of music: contemporary guitarist, composer, performer and educator. His unique musical vision absorbs and reflects all manner of music while retaining an enviable individualism and high quality craftsmanship that can span from quiet intimacy to searing intensity. Diverse musical backgrounds, which include jazz, world music, and free improvisation. He has been working on original compositions as well as crafting beautiful and haunting improvisations. He invented a unique style that is fearless, ambitious and volatile. He studied and graduated from Zagreb University. In his drive for the necessary knowledge and the enormous need for studies he sought his refuge in The Netherlands at the Rotterdam Conservatory. There he could get teachings by well-known masters. He also followed masterclasses and personal courses with Joe Pass, Jim Hall, Pat Metheny, Mike Stern, Bob Brookmayer, John Abercrombie, Mick Goodrick, Hariprasad Chaurasia and others.
Unlike some of his colleagues Ratko is not focusing only on saxophone phraseologies, but is continuously expanding the guitar's vocabulary within today's world of music. Whilst improving his performance to create his typical own sound and style, Ratko as a gifted teacher with a loaded teaching schedule, is capable of transposing most advanced phrases and concepts into structures, suitable for every musician. He gives master classes all around the world for guitar and fretless guitar, in countries like Slovenia, the Netherlands, France, Croatia and the United States.
After completing his study at the Rotterdam Conservatory where he studied jazz guitar, composition and Indian classical music, he also studied at New York University School of Music. He started to work with own group and with American trumpet veteran Benny Bailey group. Ratko participated at many international festivals and has been booked for the major club dates at the European and American scene. Ratko has constantly made major efforts to enrich his experience with appearances and recordings. He was also performing and recording with Benny Bailey, Gary Peacock, Reggie Workman, John Patitucci, Al Foster, Jimmy Cobb, Steve Gadd, Alvin Queen, Ron Carter, Randy Brecker, Miroslav Vitous, Jeff Tain Watts, Adam Nussbaum, Kirk Lightsey, Simone Zancini, Anders Bergcrantz, Shawnn Monteiro, Denise Jannah etc.
In April 2000 Ratko recorded 'A Day in Manhattan' in New York with members of John Coltrane and Miles Davis rhythm section, Reggie Workman and Al Foster.
Ratko is currently composing music and working on a new world music project on which he plays baritone, sitar, fretless, soprano, electric and acoustic guitars - this will be the second part of his previous record Shades of Spirit, Fretless Guitar Project.
This album contains no booklet.