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rovi.MR0000430809 8/24/05 New

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    Just Like (Jpn) Jvc Victor
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Review Text One does not think of sun-drenched nu-jazz when imagining the music of Eastern Europe, particularly Croatia and Zagreb. But just as the Compost label proved the unlikely German penchants for jazzy beats and breezy vocals, they now travel east on this release by producer/programmer Eddy Ramichand vocalist/arranger Jana "Yannah" Valdevit. Opening with the upbeat shuffle of "Reach the Sky," the song's anthemic vocals and pluck-happy guitar bits sound custom-made for DJs like Louie Vega (particularly the more thumping remix by Reel People, though it's not included here). Things continue in a similar world-friendly if slightly more downtempo vein until "Perfect Day for Playing Football," where Eddy's production takes center stage, with just slightly electro backing to a red-faced sax solo. But the real star of the show is Valdevit, whose voice works subtly yet powerfully, like a European Lisa Shaw. Unfortunately, Eddy's more unique programming and Yannah's vocals only meet on "Rooftops." Through the rest of the album, it seems an either-or proposition, with vocals only presented over the usual beats and the more creative programming left as instrumental. Hopefully the Eddy and Yannah will further flex their abstract downbeat tendencies on future releases. ~ Joshua Glazer

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