Goran Ivanovic And Fareed Haque recorded two CDs together, Macedonian Blues and 7 Boats, to great critical acclaim, even getting the nod as top best acoustic guitar albums 2004 from acoustic guitar magazine. Both have both been so busy that they have not been able to play again together for years.
FAREED HAQUE is a modern guitar virtuoso. Steeped in classical and jazz traditions, his unique command of the guitar and different musical styles inspire his musical ventures with tradition and fearless innovation.
FAREED HAQUE Born in 1963 to a Pakistani father and Chilean mother, Fareed’s extensive travels and especially long stays in Spain, France, Iran, Pakistan, and Chile exposed Haque to different musics from a very early age. While this natural eclecticism has become a hallmark of Haque’s music, it was repeated visits to Von Freeman’s Chicago jam sessions that gave Haque a grounding in the Chicago blues and jazz traditions. Haque has been featured on WTTW’s ArtBeat and Chicago Tonight, Ben Sidran’s New Visions, Michelob Presents Sunday Night with David Sanborn on NBC, his own Lonesome Pines special for PBS, and on BET cable jazz channel. Fareed has twice been selected as Talent Deserving Wider Recognition in Downbeat Magazine.
GORAN IVANOVIC One of the most versatile, skilled, and curious musicians in Chicago, guitarist Goran Ivanovic has built a career built upon exploration. Born and raised in Croatia, he was in the midst of studying at the prestigious Mozarteum University in Salzburg, Austria with masters like Elliot Fisk and Joaquin Clerch when his parents (his father is a Serb, his mother a Bosnian Croat) were expelled in the late 90s; the family was granted asylum in the US and they settled in Chicago.
Since his arrival he’s displayed a deep interest in collaboration, steadily expanding his stylistic range well beyond the European classical music and Balkan sounds he was fluently versed in when he arrived. These days his repertoire not only incorporates those disciplines, but jazz and flamenco as well.
He’s recorded duet albums with the great Pakistani-Chilean jazz guitarist Fareed Haque as well as Greek-American musician Andreas Kapsalis. He’s a key member of the quartet Eastern Blok with Matt Ulery, Doug Rosenberg, and Michael Caskey, a combo that deftly surveys the folk music of Macedonia, Bulgaria, and Serbia in a distinctly jazz-oriented context, embroidering timeless Balkan melodies and rhythms with sophisticated improvisational gambits.
Most recently, Ivanovic released an eponymous trio album with bassist Ulery and percussionist Pete Tashjian where he’s achieved a stunning assimilation of his many influences, creating a hybrid all his own. Reviewing the new album for All About Jazz, Budd Kopman wrote, “It is easy to get lost in Ivanovic’s technique, especially if one plays (or attempts to play) Classical style guitar, in a jazz style or not.” The trio’s agility has also been noted. As Jeff Elbel wrote in the Chicago Sun-Times, “The trio are recognized for their individual virtuosity, but they show particular excellence as a unit able to stop on a dime and twist gracefully through the trickiest hairpin turns together on local stages.”
“Although the music on this extraordinarily sensitive guitar-duo recording transcends genre, there’s no resisting its mix of American jazz, acoustic blues, flamenco rhythm and Macedonian melody. Only two guitarists on the planet would come up with such a concoction, but Ivanovic and Haque (whose roots run to Yugoslavia and South Asia, respectively) play as if they’re speaking the same musical language. Some listeners might be tempted to consign any recording as genteel as this to background music, but that would mean missing the puckish stop-start rhythms of “Kalajdzisko Oro,” the mystical ambience of “Gajdarsko Oro” and the free-form expressions of “Improv.” Those who have heard the duo in concert probably will conclude that no recording could capture fully the sparks that fly between these two virtuosos. But this disc at least documents the distinctly cross-continental flavor of their restlessly innovative work.” For These Musicians, There Is No Continental Divide.
HOWARD REICH, Los Angeles Times: