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Just Sayin’ by Lower Left (Barry Farrar drums, Mikan Zlatkovich piano, Bill Andrews bass) is the first CD release by this amazing trio of musicians from San Diego, California. Interpreting jazz standards in their own unique style is at the heart of this collection that also features one original composition, This Is For Horace, which is a tour de force written by pianist Mikan Zlatkovich. The interplay between the musicians, the range of dynamics from a whisper to torrents of sound, and the mastery by which Lower Left performs this music is astounding! The buzz on this band has already garnered them rave reviews from coast to coast. If you love jazz, you’ll love Lower Left!
The group Lower Left is a welcome addition to the piano trio tradition. Based in Southern California (the lower left), Mikan Zlatcovich, piano, Bill Andrews, bass and Barry Farrar, drums, have entered the field with an imaginative and strong first CD, “Just Sayin‘.” They consistently rethink such classics as the Jobim standards “Wave” and “Desifinado,” include a nice surprise funk take on Charles Mingus’ “Nostalgia in Times Square,” as well as a smart original by Zlatcovich, “This is for Horace,” in tribute to the master Horace Silver. Throughout, creative treatments are the focus, with detailed arrangements that still leave room for improvisational spontaneity.Zlatcovich is a pianist with a beautiful touch coupled with admirable technique, but one who is also refreshingly unafraid of the use of space when it can be the most effective device. His time feel is rock solid, as is the trio’s. He can swing and has an honest blues component in his playing while also taking harmonic and complex linear chances in the mix. Andrews and Farrar round out Lower Left with their own facility and interplay. It’s a true meeting of equal minds.-Mike Wofford