Matija Dedić: Dedication


Croatian pianist Matija Dedić opens his Dedicated with the extraordinarily lovely and wistful “Symphoetetic Waltz.” Saxophonist Chris Cheek’s sweet saxophone floats like an angel over this chamber jazz esthetic. Pianist Dedic tells this—and all of the stories on the disc—with a crystal clear clarity. Upping the chamber jazz mood, cellist Noah Hoffeld enters on “His Visit” stringing out long elastic lines that absorb the low end throbs of Johannes Weidmueller’s bass, while the leader’s piano separates the tale into succinct chapters that seem to explore the minutiae of the “visit” in question.

The two tunes, both Dedic-penned, open the set with a gorgeous atmosphere that doesn’t let up. Dedicated is a tribute to Dedic’s late father, Arsen Dedic, a Croatian singer/composer who set his son on a journey in jazz via a gift of Keith Jarrett’s (ECM Records, 1975 ), an inspiration for many.

Poignant an unfailingly reflective and reverential—a mood only slightly broken with “Alfmazur,” a tune given a jazzier treatment, with the inclusion of drums—Dedicated showcases Dedic at the height of his compositional, pianistic and conceptual powers. In my review of his MD In NYC (Origin Records, 2011), I compared his artistry to Herbie Hancock and Bill Evans. With Dedicated he seems comparable to no one but himself. His voice is fully formed, and is distinctly his own. A more beautiful and heartfelt son-to-father homage would be hard to find.

Track Listing: Symphoaetetic Waltz; His Visit; Return From The Island; Children’s Song; Afmazur; South Song; Furgotta; The Meaning Of The Blues.

Personnel: Matija Dedic: piano; Noah Hoffeld: cello; Chris Cheek: tenor saxophone; Johnathan Blake: drums (5); Jure Puki: soprano saxophone (5); Johannes Weidenmueller: bass (5)

Title: Dedication | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: Ears And Eyes Records


JAZZ Recordings – MATIJA DEDIC: Dedicated


Matija Dedic: Dedicated

review of new album, read more:



Matija Dedic – Dedicated
(ears&eyes Records / ee:17-o61)

CD/Digital Release date: February 24th 2017
Pre-orders start: February 10th 2017

Private, Press-Only Stream: SoundCloud
(free download codes available for WAV, FLAC & more)


Matija Dedić: Matija svira Arsena (2015)

Recorded just two weeks after his father’s passing, Matija svira Arsena (or Matija Plays the Music of Arsen) by jazz pianist Matija Dedic is a moving tribute to Arsen Dedic, the renowned Croatian singer, songwriter, writer, translator and composer. Probably there is a plethora of artists today who are too easily compared to some of the most renowned artists of our times, songwriters like Leonard Cohen and Bob Dylan, but none of them in reality could get close to the dizzying heights of the pantheon of these artistic Gods. Arsen was never someone who was merely compared with these people, quite the contrary, he was an equal member of this exclusive club. Not only was he a gifted lyricist and songwriter, but he was also classically trained musician, and had done numerous soundtracks and theater music in his lifetime. To be sure, his oeuvre counted hundreds of songs that were also covered by an army of other artists belonging to different generations.

Equally inspired by his oeuvre was his son and pianist Matija Dedic, who had carved his own jazz path independent to his dad’s. Matija, who is one of the finest jazz pianists around is an accomplished composer of his own, but is best known for his jazz interpretations of other people’s music, mostly from pop, like the Porin awarded Tempe

ra (Dallas Records, 2005) where he reinterpreted the music of Croatian superstar Gibonni. Around the same time he did his first record with his dad’s compositions Drugi Pogled (Dallas Records, 2005).

Tribute records are always a challenge and regardless of the motivation, there is a question of how to capture the music’s essence without sounding too imitative or how to distil the works to its fundamental simultaneously imbuing them with something new in order to give them a life of their own. The difference between the first record and the second is ambiance and dynamics. Drugi Pogled is a band record and therefore more upbeat and dynamic. It is more of a pop record with jazz inclinations than a proper jazz record. It even features both his parents, including his mom, renowned singer Gabi Novak, on two songs. Matija Svira Arsena is a subdued, quiet and mournful solo piano record with occasional duets, either with singer Massimo Savic and guitar extraordinaire Miroslav Tadic. The music here is generally mournful, full of space, floating and very much a soundtrack for one’s thoughts.

The choice of songs ranges from soundtrack themes, such as “Glembajevi, Main Theme”, “U Registraturi”, the main theme and “Laura” to popular classics such as “Moderato Cantabile”, “Tvoje Nezne Godine”, “Dida Moj” or “Sve Sto znas o Meni”. Having played alongside Arsen as his pianist of choice for the previous 10 years, Matija is more than adept to playing these tunes that in a way have a more personal meaning to him and map internal emotions. The inaugural “Glembajevi, Main Theme”, is emblematic of the album’s fecundity by extracting melodies into a singular amalgamation of rustling and stillness. Thus it sets the ambiance for the whole record.

Matija proves to be a keen and sensitive pianist whose style tends toward crisp and deep and introspective melodies. He simply meanders quietly through these songs where the pace suggests infinite patience with the selections. His playing is elegant, emotional, erudite and completely engaging. One track quietly leads into the next in what it feels like a soundtrack of sorts. For a start, Arsen’s own melodies, as time went on, were inspired from different sources of music, be it French chansons, pastoral melodies or classical music, but it’s Matija’s musical intelligence that is taking them somewhere deep. He uses his piano to plumb the depths of his instrument’s power in order to create mood. As a result, the music is peaceful, but nevertheless it is fathomlessly powerful.

The album ends with two duets, singer Massimo Savic with whom Matija has been regularly playing, and Miroslav Tadic. “Razgovor sa konobarom” is an elegant ballad, but the duet between an acoustic guitar and piano is simply magical as both instruments weave together in a symbiotic way.

As in all tribute music, the musician’s own finished project has to stand on its own apart from the reflected glory of its inspiration. This is a moving tribute and farewell from one ace to another, from son to father. Matija svira Arsena breathes in black and white, but breathes out only vivid colors.

Track Listing: Glembajevi (Naslovna tema); Ni ti, ni ja; U registraturi (Naslovna tema); U registraturi (Laura); Sve sto znas o meni; Kuca pored mora; Moderato cantabile; Zaludu me svitovala mati; Tvoje nezne godine; Dida moj; Razgovor s konobarom; Ne placi.

Personnel: Matija Dedic: piano; Massimo Savic: vocal on “Razgovor sa konobarom”; Miroslav Tadic: guitar.

Record Label: Croatia Records


CD “Sentiana” is now avaliable for download or purchase at the following link:

Matija Dedic – Sentiana

Born in Zagreb on March 2nd 1973, Matija Dedic’ started playing classic piano at the age of five. He began to listen to all kinds of music very early, soon discovering jazz. He is the son of Arsen Dedic’, Croatian singer/songwriter and poet, and Gabi Novak, a famous Croatian pop-singer who even sang with Louis Armstrong.  He attended a special music high school Vatroslav Lisinski, and after graduating with honors in 1991, went to the Jazz Academy in Graz, where he graduated in 1997 under professor Harold Neuwirth.  He also studied privately with J. Taylor, Hal Galper, Bill Dobbins and Barry Harris.

He has backed up top named jazz artists all over Europe including Benny Golson, Kenny Burrell, Roy Haynes, Jose Feliciano, Marc Murphy, Tommy Emanuel, Lenny White, Kendrick Scott, Jeff Ballard, Vicente Archer, Buster Williams, Larry Grenadier, Nils Hennings Orsted Pedersen, Ron Mclure, Antonio Sanchez, Scott Colley, Gene Jackson, John Hollenback, etc…  Matija was one of 11 finalists in the 2002 Montreux Jazz Piano Competition.

Dedic’s first release From the Beginning, (2009 Dallas Records) featured Jeff Ballard and Larry Grenadier.  His second MD in NY, (2011 Origin Records) featured Kendrick Scott and Vicente Archer.  Right away, you can tell by the company he keeps that this is a player’s player.  Both albums showcased an incredible new talent, just being discovered in the US.

For his third US release Matija chose Blue Bamboo Music as his label of choice, and I couldn’t be happier to bring you this incredible talent.  Sentiana features Antonio Sanchez and Scott Colley and like his other two releases dazzles with musical virtuosity and sensitivity.  10 originals and one standard…  Incredible beauty and depth from one of the world’s most accomplished pianists and two of the finest sidemen anyone is ever likely to hear.

If you have yet to hear this man, I am proud to kick off 2014 by introducing you to one of the greatest musicians in the world.  Enjoy!

Chris Cortez


Blue Bamboo Music Inc.


Improvijazzation Nation – Issue 143 Reviews
Matija Dedic – SENTIANA

If high-talent keyboard jazz is your cup of tea, you won’t get your cup much fuller than the beautiful tunes Matija spins out for your aural pleasure.  That couldn’t be truer than on the marvelous trio formation on “Bremen“… solid tune, with absolutely excellent clarity from the opening note to the very end (at 8:49).  The bass on “Deep” is just that… the tune will transport you into lands you’d never imagined before.
My personal favorite, though, was the high-energy vibe on “Uncle M“… jazz as it was meant to be played (though the tune is short, clocking in at just over 5 minutes); this CD gets my MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, as well as an “EQ” (energy quotient) rating of 4.99.  Get more information at Matija’s website.
Rotcod Zzaj


Audiophile review – Matija Dedić – Sentiana
July 3, 2014 – by Paul Wilson

Matija Dedic started playing classical piano at age five and soon after began to discover all types of music. He was born in Zagreb to Arsen Dedic, a Croatian singer and songwriter. He has been a backup pianist for numerous Jazz musicians all over Europe including Benny Golson, Kenny Burrell, Jose Feliciano, Roy Haynes and Lenny White to name a few. Sentiana is Dedic’s third US release and for this one he chose the Blue Bamboo label. Ten of the eleven songs are original compositions by Dedic and also feature Scott Colley on bass and Antoni Sanchez on drums. For everyone who enjoys a piano virtuoso with complex melodies and sensitivity, and accompanied by two stellar sidemen, Sentiana is a selection that should not be missed.


Matija Dedić – Sentiana – Blue Bamboo Music
May 18, 2014 – Doug Simpson

Matija Dedić – Sentiana [TrackList follows] – Blue Bamboo Music BBM021, 53:59 [3/18/14] ***1/2:

(Matija Dedić – piano, producer; Antonio Sanchez – drums; Scott Colley – bass)

Croatia might not be where jazz enthusiasts expect to find a fine pianist who has melodic gifts, a bright rhythmic sensibility and articulate composing skills. Thus, Croatian Matija Dedić may not be on most people’s inventory of world-renowned keyboardists. Based on his third American release, the 53-minute Sentiana, the Zagreb-born Dedić is worth discovering and hopefully will generate more interest for his artistry.

Dedić’s admirers already include fellow artists. His 2009 US debut, From the Beginning, featured Jeff Ballard (the drummer has played in the Sam Yahel and Brad Mehldau trios, the Metheny-Mehldau Quartet, and Joshua Redman’s Elastic Band) and Larry Grenadier (the bassist has toured with John Scofield and Pat Metheny and was also in Mehldau’s trio). Dedić’s sophomore record, 2011’s MD in NY, had Kendrick Scott (the drummer has recorded with Terence Blanchard and Kurt Elling) and Vicente Archer (the bassist’s résumé includes Nicholas Payton, Donald Harrison and George Colligan). On Sentiana, Dedić is paired with drummer Antonio Sanchez (who is best known as a member of Gary Burton’s newest quartet and also was in Metheny’s quartet) and bassist Scott Colley (who is also part of Burton’s current group).

Ten of 11 tracks were penned by Dedić (there is a cover of “Green Dolphin Street”). The threesome begins with the title track. Dedić shows a confident panache as he, Sanchez and Colley move through a dramatic melody. There are several segments with supple developments and a muscular sense of interplay which evokes Mehldau. That could be due to Colley’s firm, adaptable bass lines and Sanchez’s subtle but sturdy percussive structure. Dedić doesn’t copy Mehldau, although his style has some similarity. The trio sprints through the third cut, “Coutlett,” which is sparked by a nimble arrangement, with an ebb-and-surge flash highlighted by Colley’s bass, which at times is either cool and affective or fiery with fret runs, and Dedić and Sanchez’s rhythmic flourishes. The bop-flitted “Uncle M” has a related degree of fast-paced modernity. Dedić swings with uninhibited openness. In particular, listeners should take notice of his right hand chord and single-note embellishments. Colley has a warm, woody solo where his fingers fly, and Sanchez slips in some percussive tangents which augment the tune’s friendly complexity. The trio showcases their flexibility on the lengthy, ten-minute “Deep.” The arrangement has a slight classical slant, which provides a studied undercurrent. But the rhythm and tempo has a free-floating feel, so the track courses through movements which abound with only some restrictions: there is even a short, free-jazz departure.

Interestingly, this is not exclusively a trio effort. Approximately half the material is solo piano. Dedić gives the oft-done “Green Dolphin Street” a regal, European-tinted reading which emphasizes a repetitive rhythmic footing and a nearly rough keyboard attack. “Stella by Skylark” has a comparable pattern, where Dedić hits the black and white keys with stabbing fingers. Other solo pieces, such as “Plan B” and “Helia,” demonstrate Dedić’s lovely winding melodies, which are concentrated and dexterous and display why the pianist has previously been chosen to back Benny Golson, Kenny Burrell and Roy Haynes on stage. Fans of Mehldau, Keith Jarrett or Paul Bley’s trio outings will probably also find Dedić’s compositions appealing. Like those musicians, Dedić creates music best experienced with an active ear which can grasp his intricacy and his shifting tones, moods and harmonics.

TrackList: Sentiana; Plan B; Coutlett; Green Dolphin Street; Deep; Stella by Skylark; Freerony; Uncle M; 6 Umbrella’s; Bremen; Helia.

— Doug Simpson


FAME Review: Matija Dedic | Antonio Sanchez | Scott Colley – Sentiana
A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange by Mark S. Tucker

Thank Christ pianist Matija Dedic chose to embroil himself within a trio for Sentiana ’cause the format provides both huge and tight little spaces for he and comrades to make straight-up, fusiony, avant-garde high quality jazz. Each one of these players is highly dexterous, though Dedic’s the stand-out. He, however, has to fight for the top spot more than once, so apposite were his choices of sideman (Scott Colley—bass, Antonio Sanchez—drums), but the guy has fingers and brain inextricably entwined and so comes out on top…sweating and grinning. The title cut right off the bat lets you know what you’re in for, but his version of Green Dolphin Street also demonstrates a quite classicalist sensibility going through non-stop changes before closing out pointillistically.

On the 10:08 Deep and 8:48 Bremen, we get the royal treatment, extended compositions allowing the gents to explore nuance after nuance. Nailing down Dedic’s set of influences is difficult, though a good deal of Keith Jarrett can be detected in the opening movement to Deep, well laced with…well, hell if I can say, because Matija’s subsumed whatever entranced him so well that the myriad voices have become his own. There are, however, Keith Tippetty passages as well in this track, set off by Romantic interludes. Also, there’s an incisive chameleonry to the gent that has allowed him to back a wide variety of notables from Jose Feliciano to—good God, is this right?—Tommy Emmanuel, one of the most accomplished guitarists on the planet, to Lenny White and many more besides, and I doubt even Emmanuel could catch this cat off guard in any aspect.

There’s no way on Earth you’re going to be able use this CD for driving music or as background ambiance because it demands too much in the way of active listening, complicated and ceaselessly shifting, personal and wide open simultaneously. Colley provides great backgrounds, meaty when he nabs the spotlight, but I have to say that Antonio Sanchez is one hell of a drummer, uses his entire kit, and seems often to be two or three percussionists at once, some of the brainiest such work I’ve heard in years. Put the three together, and what do you get? Well, in the now-burgeoning onslaught of really great jazz, look at it this way: I’ve never believed in the illusion that there’s too much of a good thing. Discs like Sentiana continue to prove I’ve been right all along.


Matija Dedić: Sentiana (2014)
by Dan Bilawsky
April 16, 2014

Croatian pianist Matija Dedić demonstrates exquisite taste in selecting trio mates for his projects. His debut—From The Beginning (Dallas Records, 2009)—brought him into contact with bassist Larry Grenadier and drummer Jeff Ballard, best known for their work in pianist Brad Mehldau’s acclaimed trio. The follow-up record—M.D. In N.Y.C. (Origin Records, 2011)—found him working with bassist Vicente Archer and drummer Kendrick Scott, a pair that’s done fine work together with pianist Danny Grissett. On a portion of this album, his third to date, he’s aligned himself with drummer Antonio Sanchez and bassist Scott Colley, a dream team of a rhythm combo that’s worked with everybody from vibraphonist Gary Burton to pianist Kenny Werner to trumpeter Alex Sipiagin.

Dedić’s fondness for turning to such fine players may lead some to believe that he’s trying to trade on the reputation of others, but that’s simply not the case. It’s abundantly clear, long before the album-opening title track is even through, that Dedić is the real deal. He possess the technique, confidence and creativity to match wits with all of these men. The odd-metered opener, cooking “Coutlett”, and expansive-and-probing “Deep” all paint him as a sharp shooter with a firm gaze on his target(s) and the reflexes and skills necessary to carry out his mission(s). He’s prone to voluble runs and solos, but he also takes pleasure in the art of rumination, chewing on an idea as his mind and hands sort things out in real time.

The solo piano numbers presented herein—”Freerony”, a searching “Green Dolphin Street”, “Helia”, and several others—give pause to admire Dedić’s fleetness, sophistication, and sense of drama. The group numbers, while highlighting many of the same traits in his playing, turn attention toward the triangular chemistry at work. Colley’s pliant bass lines, Sanchez’s strong rhythmic currents, and Dedić’s animated piano work make for a winning combination. While established patterns indicate that Dedić will probably turn to a different rhythm team for his next release, it would be nice to hear this group go for another ride together.

Track Listing: Sentiana; Plan B; Coutlett; Green Dolphin Street; Deep; Stella By Skylark; Freerony; Uncle M; 6 Umbrella’s; Bremen; Helia.

Personnel: Matija Dedić: piano; Scott Colley: bass; Antonio Sanchez: drums.

Record Label: Blue Bamboo Music


Matija Dedić
New band radar
Sat 15th Mar 2014 11:05:459, 2014

Croatian pianist Matija Dedić may well be largely unfamiliar to international audiences but his trio mates here, the Pat Metheny Unity Group drummer Antonio Sánchez and Sánchez quartet double bassist Scott Colley, certainly aren’t. But it’s more a case of primus inter pares. Check out the title track above for proof. Born in Zagreb the 41-year-old is the son of a well known Croatian pop singer mother Gabi Novak and the poet/songwriter Arsen Dedić. A seasoned player already Matija’s sideman credits include appearances with Benny Golson and Kenny Burrell, and the pianist is now well established into his career as a leader debuting with From The Beginning released five years ago, an album that featured Jeff Ballard and Larry Genadier, two thirds of the Brad Mehldau trio, while 2011’s MD in NY found Dedić keeping equally illustrious company with Kendrick Scott and Vicente Archer on board. New album Sentiana (Blue Bamboo Music) released next week features mostly original material of the pianist’s including a clever reinvention and meshing together of the harmonic heart of ‘Stella by Starlight’ and ‘Skylark’ in the process creating a new modernistic piece that recalls the style of a young Chick Corea but with Dedić’s own natural highly virtuosic touch embossed confidently on it.




Matija Dedic, with Antionio Sanchez and Scott Colley – Sentiana (2014)
by S.Victor Aaron
March 16, 2014

The classically trained, Croatian born pianist Matija Dedic’ certainly wears his Euro-classical heritage on his sleeve, and why not? Putting that heritage together with a potent American rhythm section can be an exciting collision of Old World jazz with New World jazz.

And so it is with Sentiana, Dedic’s third and latest album, featuring Yankee bassist Scott Colley and Pat Metheny’s prime drummer from Mexico City, Antonio Sanchez. The other distinction of Sentiana is that this is one that showcases Dedic’s aptitude for composing; ten of these eleven songs are his. Some people might expect a certain stuffiness from an Old World guy, but that doesn’t describe Dedic’. His playfulness often goes hand-in-hand with his pursuit of some choral notion or a good swift, knotted riff.

The touch he applies on “Sentiana” gives it superb flow with dramatic moments that bracket lithe progressions. Sometimes it feels like a classic ECM piano trio recording and other times Chick Corea. Regardless of what it evokes, it’s clear that Dedic’ has chops. Making good use of the immense talent, Colley’s taut, bouncy bass lines match the pianist’s own virtuosity and Sanchez solos underneath to power the trio right up to the conclusion.

“Coutlett” begins with quick-paced, stop/start action that can test the togetherness of any group, but these guys got this. Colley launches a solo early on, cooling down the hot start, and Dedic’s rapid right-hand runs are followed by Sanchez’s controlled rumbling. “Uncle M” is bop updated with plenty of modernity, Dedic swings with effusiveness, after which Colley solos with a few Sanchez asides tossed in. Still, the piano improvising on “Bremen” is the most tireless and stimulating of all.

Dedic & Co. stretch out the most on “Deep” a tune that’s classically inclined, dramatic, and floating without tempo, save for a couple of brief, rhumba type moments. It even slides into a brief free jazz excursion at one point.

A full half dozen of these performances are done by Dedic alone. “Green Dolphin Street” is treated well with a stately, European interpretation. Other solo pieces, like “Plan B” and “Helia” lay Dedic’s pretty, twisting melodies to bare, rendered with the flair and dexterity of a master concert pianist.

With heavy hitters like Antonio Sanchez and Scott Colley prominently headlined on the CD cover, perhaps a few more trio tracks and a couple less piano-only tracks could have made Sentiana live up to the billing a little better. Then again, it’s hard to against Dedic’s prowess as a solo performer, too. In either setting, he delivers the goods.




Not quite a young lion anymore, this jazz piano man plays with that special something that attracted you to young Chick Corea and young Keith Jarrett. Playing in a trio with a pair of real hitters at his side, this isn’t a set of smooth jazz for cocktail hour. Playing with the commitment of a real jazzbo, this former tyro hasn’t finished looking in all the corners and under all the rocks as he issues an original program of transporting jazz that takes you places you didn’t even know you wanted to go. Solid stuff throughout, Dedic is your go to piano man when you don’t want to hear a program of samey-samey. Well done.

ALBUM REVIEW: Sentiana from Matija Dedic


Improvisational Jazz
Susan Frances, Yahoo Contributor Network
Mar 9, 2014

Matija Dedic’s autonomous spirit is channeled into his piano keys shaping notes that zig and zag up and down, over and across the melodic progressions along the breadth of his new CD Sentiana from Blue Bamboo Music label. With ten original tracks composed by Dedic and one standard written by Bronislaw Kaper and Ned Washington, Dedic is joined by Antonio Sanchez on drums and Scott Colley on bass.

Dedic’s keys vibrate with the sparkling luster of champagne in the title track as the bass and drum combo sputter and dash capriciously. The album takes a turn in “Plan B” ambling into an on-going stream of frothy formations conjured up by Dedic’s free flowing keys furling with stunning nimbleness. Colley’s bass notes create a foamy undercurrent in “Coutlet” as Dedic’s keys pave a serpentine path along the melodic swells. The satiny texture of the keys in the jazz standard “Green Dolphin Street” has a quixotic feel in its lyrical prose crafting a series of tuneful cascades that come in intermittently against the lulls.

The low notes of the bass span the stretch of “Deep” harvesting a dramatic vibe as the trembling keys move up and down the melodic scale producing billowing flusters. The length of the track resembles an epic saga for the keys threading multiple expressions back to back. The bales of curt notes yarned from the keys in “Stella by Skylark” has a sprightly tone and pulsating tempo which soften to a serenely sounding score through “Freerony”. The bubbly bass brackets the fluctuations in the keys along “Uncle M” switching to a scintillating glide across “6 Umbrella’s” imbuing a candelabra atmosphere. The palatial, candelabra-tinged ambience continues into “Helia” as Dedic’s keys create a sonically pleasing prose with trickling notes and melodic patterns that project a sentimental flare.

Sentiana is Dedic’s third full-length release. The recording showcases the nimbleness and elasticity of his phrasing and his instincts for forming melodic expressions that pervade a sentimental flare. His affinity for improvisational patterns manifest into a lyrical prose that stimulates and pacifies the aural senses. His experience working with such luminaries in jazz as Benny Golson, Roy Haynes, and Jose Feliciano among many others provided him with the training to structure compositions, though it’s his talent for piano improvisation that distinguishes from the flock.


Matija Dedic – piano, Antonio Sanchez – drums, and Scott Colley – bass


Sentiana, Plan B, Coutlet, Green Dolphin Street, Deep, Stella by Skylark, Freerony, Uncle M, 6 Umbrella’s, Bremen, Helia



Kari-On Productions is proud to present:



36 year-old Matija Dedic is a star in the Eastern European jazz scene, particularly in his home country of Croatia, where he has won numerous awards throughout the past 10 years or so. He was also one of 11 finalists in the 2002 Montreux Jazz Piano Competition. When you hear him play, it is no surprise why – he’s got tons of chops and a very spontaneous approach to be as general as I can in this opening paragraph. Dedic is also the son of father Arsen Dedic, Croatian singer/songwriter and poet, and mother Gabi Novak, a famous Croatian pop-singer who even sang with Louis Armstrong.

For great musicians like Matija is crucial to practice permanently, and for that occasion Matija choose Yamaha hybrid piano NU1. This piano combine traditional characteristic of acoustic instrument with innovation of digital technology. Experience and great sound of Yamaha concert pianos in space of home delivers advanced technologies that they develop in Yamaha with complete mechanic of classical approach.

Matija tested Yamaha Nu1 in our specialized store Euro-Unit classic gallery, Frankopanska 24 in Zagreb and for that occasion we shoot few photos of this great artist in our store.

More about this topic on:


MUSIC REVIEW: Matija Dedic, “MD in NYC”
by Dustin Garlitz, Jazz

Zagreb, Croatia’s Matija Dedic is emerging as one of the most important rising stars on Continental Europe’s jazz scene. His modern piano trio performances with sidemen Vincente Archer and Kendrick Scott certainly qualify him as a significant up-and-coming jazz artist hailing from this particular region of Europe, if not the continent as a whole.

It is a real pleasure getting to hear Dedic in action with Archer and Scott in New York City in this 2011 release of his on Origin Records. Dedic’s piano jazz can be thought of somewhere between the styles of Robert Glasper and Brad Mehldau, with an overall sound historically reminiscent of Bill Evans. Archer sounds just as strong with Dedic as he does with Glasper. The Herbie Hancock Blue Note track “Maiden Voyage” is in fact done in the style of Glasper, but for Dedic (as is the case throughout his entire New York City album), mood is ever more important.

His work on electronics further amplifies the mood-based tension and release in his modern jazz. This is especially true of his covering of the Miles David Kind of Blue standard “Blue in Green”. With his covering of Sting’s “Fragile”, Dedic leaves the jazz listener wanting more, and judging by the overall quality of this release, the modern jazz listener will have many more opportunities to hear Zagreb’s Dedic in action in trio settings on both sides of the Atlantic in the future.


MUSIC REVIEW: Matija Dedic, “MD in NYC”
by Dan McClenagham

Pianist Matija Dedic’s MD in NYC tiptoes into existence on a delicate rhythm, joined in short order by a sprinkling of crystalline notes in the melody, with a whisper of brushes and spare but assertive bass lines. “Her Name” is one of the pianist’s five originals in the set, and has a wistful reverence that speaks, perhaps, to a yearning infatuation, bringing to mind the artistry of Bill Evans and Herbie Hancock.

The Croatian-born musician has created a superb piano trio outing, a pared down approach that he augments very adeptly with synthesizers. “Slawenskya”, another original, features a subtle electric cool breeze undertone enhancing the harmony, leading into the brightly-swinging trio tune,”Update”.

Hancock’s much-covered “Maiden Voyage” has never been covered better. It is a spare and understated rendition from Dedic and his trio mates, with eerie hints of synthesizer washes huffing like wind blowing through the eaves, a sound leaning just over the edge of conscious perception. The longest tune of the set at just over ten minutes—with its deft trio interplay and a brief-but- marvelous bass solo—it is the CD’s centerpiece and masterpiece.

Miles Davis’s “Blue in Green” opens at a slow and deliberate pace, piano trio only, until Dedic brings a lush string arrangement into the mix, making a Kind of Blue (Columbia Records, 1959) “with strings” outing seem a very interesting potential project.

Dedic’s “Cheekee Chicks” features a funky dance groove and electric piano; and Sting’s “Fragile” is another trio affair, a floating six minutes of loveliness and trio cohesion, followed by the more stately and muscular Dedic-penned “Jungle Blues”. Concluding the CD, Toby Gad’s “If I Were a Boy”, with it’s whirring synthesizer orchestration, has the feel of a soundtrack to a movie with a pastoral backdrop.

MD in NYC introduces a very talented and versatile artist in Matija Dedic.


MUSIC REVIEW: Matija Dedic, “MD in NYC”
by Thomas Conrad, Stereophile

Jazz has become a truly international art form in the new millennium, and some of its most creative players now come from places like Zagreb, Croatia. What makes Matija Dedic special is his touch and the way his poetic concept unfolds and deepens over the course of an album. Dedic is as seductive as Tord Gustavsen. The opening of the first track here, “Her Name,” could be Gustavsen. It has that hush, the keys barely touched, the simple incantatory repetitions becoming complex mysteries.

But Dedic is a romantic with wide dynamic range. Pieces like “Update” and “Cheekee Chicks” and “Jungle Blues” are rhythmically intricate and infectious and intense. Dedic sometimes plays Fender Rhodes, and is a deft manipulator of electronics, which he uses on most tracks to add colors to his trio music and extend its depth of field.

The trio here is not a working band. Dedic made this record in Manhattan with one of New York’s best young rhythm sections, Vicente Archer and Kendrick Scott. Archer sounds like he has been weaving bass rituals through Dedic’s piano lines for 20 years.

The tunes mentioned above are originals. Dedic writes lines that linger in one’s tonal memory. Yet the high points of this album are four extraordinary covers, on which Dedic improvises like a composer. Toby Gad’s “If I Were A Boy,” a hit for Beyoncé, is resonant and solemn, a secular prayer. Many jazz musicians have played “Maiden Voyage.” Dedic’s version has quiet rapture. For over ten minutes, he bathes new soft light on the crystal core of Herbie Hancock’s melody. Miles Davis’ “Blue In Green” is so slow it seems to hover in place. Dedic is a conjurer who works in the medium of mood like a painter works in oils. Vicente Archer is stark and profound on “Blue In Green,” and the synthesized string orchestra is like a darkening sky. “Fragile” translates Sting’s human cry, his call, into non-verbal musical language and it becomes more universal.


MUSIC REVIEW: Matija Dedic, “MD in NYC”
by Thomas R. Erdmann, Jazz Review

***** 5-Stars”

Zagreb Croatia native, pianist and composer Matija Dedic earned a collegiate degree from the Jazz Academy in Graz, Austria. Dedic comes from a musical family; his father received musical awards and his mom sang with Louis Armstrong and Phil Woods. Some of Dedic’s piano teachers have included jazz stalwarts Hal Galper and Barry Harris. Among the musicians Dedic has played with are Benny Golson, Kenny Burrell, Roy Haynes, Alvin Queen, Lenny White and Larry Grenadier. As a composer Dedic has written for television, the theatre and some Croatian pop artists. M.D. in NYC is his second release as a leader.

This recording captures this exceptionally fine musician in league with bassist Vicente Archer and drummer Kendrick Scott. Together the three musicians have crafted a wonderfully tender, yet musically driving and hypnotic musically astute document. The 10 tracks, six Dedic originals as well as a few jazz standards and a couple of pop tunes, are all performed in one of the most wonderfully empathetic jazz piano trio sessions one will ever hear.

Highlights include the wonderfully powerful Dedic original “Slawenskaya”. The piece builds steam as Dedic proposes phrase after phrase of disparate ideas which he eventually transforms into a solidly functioning intermeshed whole. The energy gradually builds throughout the five minutes of the track until all three musicians are involved in a series of skitterish and metrically complex rhythmic punctuations they attack with the gusto of a seriously parched man drinking water for the first time in a year.

At other times this ensemble settles into music that is all about the beauty of a single line. Dedic’s retransformation of Herbie Hancock’s “Maiden Voyage” becomes not so much homage as a way of viewing the composition through a prism. All of the individual colors of Hancock’s composition, harmonic and melodic, are delicately pulled apart, piece by piece, line by line, in such a sublime manner one would think the three musicians are playing freely throughout. Archer’s solo, done in one of the most subtle double-time manners ever recorded, is accentuated by Scott’s light and oh-so-delicate percussion work while Dedic comps behind with figures that offer other suggestions of vistas Archer might want to explore. That it all comes together in such a marvelous manner is a testament to the excellence of all involved.

The brave and softly understated use of synth atmospherics at crucial moments in different compositions, not as color or in a harmonic sense, but instead to create a depth of background setting, is so perfectly balanced with the sublime ensemble interplay it’s impossible to think of this music without those washes. This is, no doubt, one of the top 10 discs of 2011.


MUSIC REVIEW: Matija Dedic, “MD in NYC”
by David Franklin, Cadence

Matija Dedic is a 38-year-old Croatian piano virtuoso who has played around the world with leading Jazz performers, including a number of well-known Americans, and won numerous awards world-wide. Bassist Archer and drummer Scott both boast extensive, impressive credentials. The modern mainstream MD in NYC is Dedic’s second album and the first with these two fine side­men.

To be sure, Dedic displays a mastery of his instrument. His ele­gant touch produces a beautiful sound and his fabulous technique permits him to execute phenomenal phrases. But more than that, he brings something out of the ordinary to the venerable piano trio. He uses a synthesizer to provide programmatic ambiance or back­ground accompaniment to his acoustic (and occasionally electric) piano performances. The ensemble’s rendering of Herbie Hancock’s “Maiden Voyage,” for example, is enhanced by quiet, ethereal synth sounds in the background, while the synthesizer mimics a fired-up soprano saxophone in introducing Dedic’s “Jungle Blues.” Using it on his jaunty “Cheekee Chicks,” the leader generates a “rock gui­tar” solo to follow his earlier acoustic and electric piano choruses. And it provides a lovely string orchestra setting for “Blue in Green.”

But even without the unusual instrumentation, this disc would be worthwhile for the top-notch playing by all parties. At one point in “Maiden Voyage,” Dedic improvises separate but complementary melodies in his two hands. And in “Jungle Blues” he bangs out an incendiary two-fisted passage. “Blue in Green,” Sting’s “Fragile,” and Dedic’s “Her Name” are especially noteworthy for the pianist’s warm sound and inventive melodicism.


MUSIC REVIEW: Matija Dedic, “MD in NYC”
by Ric Bang, Jazz Scan

This album demonstrates anew that jazz truly is an international art. Matija Dedic, born in Croatia in 1973, began to play classical piano at age 5: a common path for Eastern European music students. He had broadened his interests by his 18th birthday, and he subsequently entered the Graz Jazz Academy. After graduation, he delivered his style of jazz while touring throughout Europe, Scandinavia, South America and the United States. He has worked with his own groups and many others, writes music for TV and theater, and often plays with touring pop stars.

MD in NYC was recorded during a 2009 stay in the Big Apple. Dedic’s basic trio — in which he plays both piano and Fender Rhodes — includes bassist Vincent Archer and drummer Kendrick Scott. That core group is backed on several tracks by an unidentified string section.

Dedic wrote six of the 10 compositions; the rest are covers of tunes from Herbie Hancock (“Maiden Voyage”), Miles Davis (“Blue in Green”), Sting (“Fragile”) and Toby Gad (“If I Were a Boy”). All are done at near balladic, but softly swinging tempos.

You can always tell when a pianist has had classical training. Jazz artists often are essentially one-handed; the right hand establishes the melodic line and is the “innovator” … which is to say, the hand that produces the solo lines that the mind creates. The left hand plays a “supporting” role, maintaining the chord structure and providing emphasis where appropriate.

That isn’t the case with Dedic. Both hands are intensely involved at all times; sometimes you’d swear that two solo lines are occurring simultaneously. Additionally, one is “forced” (in a very positive way!) to listen intently to this album, to catch everything; as a result, the tunes seem to just fly past. A 5-minute track is over before you want it to end.

And that’s the case with every track on this album. It’s beautiful, pensive, attention-getting and memorable jazz. Dedic is a talent to be reckoned with!


by John Thomas

CD1: From the Beginning; Mr. Handy; ‘Round
Midnight; W.A.M; Angela; You Are Too Beautiful. 

CD2: Prelude to a Kiss; Nardis; Marina’s Dilemma;
Lush Life; Bye Bye Blackbird; Dr. A PERSONNEL:
Matija Dedic, piano; Larry Grenadier,bass; Jeff Ballard, drums

36 year-old Matija Dedic is a star in the Eastern European jazz scene, particularly in his home country of Croatia, where he has won numerous awards throughout the past 10 years or so. He was also one of 11 finalists in the 2002 Montreux Jazz Piano Competition. When you hear him play, it is no surprise why – he’s got tons of chops and a very spontaneous approach to be as general as I can in this opening paragraph. Dedic is also the son of father Arsen Dedic, Croatian singer/songwriter and poet, and mother Gabi Novak, a famous Croatian pop-singer who even sang with Louis Armstrong.

For From the Beginning, Matija has hired Brad Mehldau’s rhythm section – Larry Grenadier on bass and Jeff Ballard on drums – also Mark Turner’s rhythm section in the trio group Fly. This is a bold move on Dedic’s part since fans of these two players are used to hearing them play in groups where the third person (Mehldau or Turner) has developed an almost telepathic rapport with them. But Ballard and Grenadier are such incredible and empathetic musicians, that they sound as if they’ve been playing with Dedic for a long time. Dedic’s phrasing is unpredictable and exciting, and he has a very definite time-feel that is all his own – a little bit quirky and sometimes frantic, but in an intentional way. If you are looking for swing or groove, this might not be your album – although he can do that too, and we he does, you realize how versatile of a player he is. Dedic also writes some very cool and complex arrangements with exciting twists, turns and breaks. I think if the group had more experience together, the groove would be much deeper, but for an initial effort, wow!

Dedic chose a nice mixture of standards to mix in with some well-crafted and memorable originals. This includes “Round Midnight,” which he gives a rousing high energy solo interpretation, and “Prelude to a Kiss,” which is given an andante cool swing. Although the head is given a complex arrangement, the musicians are all in their comfort zones on this standard and Grenadier and Ballard take some memorable solos. Other standards include “You Are Too Beautiful,” and “Nardis,” which is given a straight and funky drum and bass groove. Dedic makes great use of space on this tune, keeping the listeners ears wide open and thirsting for the next phrase. “Lush Life,” and “Bye, Bye Blackbird” are on the second of the two CDs. The way Grenadier and Dedic simultaneously share the melody and improvisation on the latter tune is one of the highlights on the album. The group chemistry is at its highest on this track. Grenadier has an uncanny ability to be both supportive and independent at the same time. Dedic closes out the album with a beautiful ballad of his own entitled Dr. A performed solo – this one will pull on the heart strings, leaving you in a somewhat sullen and reflective mood.

Dedic is an exciting and multi-faceted player who should cross the Atlantic much more often. If this group was a working band, I believe the results could be as critically praised as that of the other groups this rhythm section has been associated with.