Saso Popovski – Steps (ENG review)

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Saso Popovski – Steps (ENG review)

The guitarist and composer Saso Papovski was kind enough to send us his new album “Steps,” which warmed our hearts because most of the recent productions coming from Europe haven’t really managed to captivate us. Here, it’s quite the opposite, with an original and poetic album that also draws a bit from Balkan folklore. “Steps” also incorporates multicultural influences with clean lines and exotic motifs. The structures are well-crafted, highlighting the author’s ingenuity. Saso consciously leaves room for development and pushes the boundaries of sound, exploring the unique characteristics of each instrument and the unpredictable sensitivities of the musicians.
“Steps” takes us on a journey, somewhere in a Baltic country or rather in several, where rhythms and atmospheres blur the lines, sometimes becoming questioning, poetic, or joyful, depending on the landscapes Saso wants to take us through. Saso was born in the Mediterranean-scented city of Bitola and is now a leading artist, a jazz guitarist, and composer on the Balkan jazz and world music scene. Popovski has created and developed a new musical expression, bringing Oriental sounds to a mystical language.
Saso Popovski’s original compositions are intriguing to listen to in depth, leaving ample space and warm dialogues between the instruments. You settle in comfortably, and even the jazz violin used here will surprise you; it blends into the scenery or becomes an actor, slipping in here and there to better emphasize an intention or a dialogue. There is no randomness in this music, just beautiful craftsmanship. This beautiful craftsmanship deeply touches me, especially on the track “Wildflow,” which is gentle, generous, and warm. This seven-track album is so enjoyable that it might just end up on repeat if you’re not careful.
Far from the jazz albums we’ve been receiving lately, what is remarkable here is the integration of Saso Popovski’s culture. Without relying on grand effects or artifices, he offers an intimate and thoughtful work. These are the reasons why the editorial teams at Bayou Blue Radio and Paris-Move have deemed this album one of our “essentials”.

Thierry De Clemensat
USA correspondent – Paris-Move
Editor in chief Bayou Blue Radio, Bayou Blue News

PARIS-MOVE, September 6th 2023


To buy this album


Recommended by the PARIS-MOVE editorial team: Saso Popovski Trio composition ” Kom Dipsan ” from his album ‘Fallen Land’ SJF Records (Skopje Jazz Festival Label) with Ivan Bejkov and Viktor Filipovski: