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(1948-1978), Dirigent Vojislav Simic FORMAT: 2LP/CD
(RTB Big Band With Guests)

£8.50 + VAT
Limited edition on vinyl : Only 500 copies. £9.99 + VAT

RTB BIG BAND was formed in 1948 and immediately started gaining international reputation. In 1960 they won the 1st prize at Juan-Les Pins Jazz Festival.. Tonny Scott: “I've said it before and I'll say it again The Belgrade orchestra I heard there, cuts every band I've ever heard in States except Basie. If you don’t believe ask Quincy.”
Down Beat: Yugoslavia provided a musical surprise in the shape of Vojislav Simic’s big band in Belgrade based on the Kenton sound, but the compositions are better and the band sounds better.”

TOTAL TIME : 76min
(P) 1978, PGP RTB

Very Limited
edition on vinyl :
Only 500 copies. Double LP with original artwork with insert in English.
Gatefold sleeve in plastic cover.

Also available on CD in a gatefold carton sleeve with original artwork and insert in English.
PAUK (Spider) (Z. Skerl) 8'46
02 KOLO (Folk dance) (F. Jenc) 5'05
03 PROLECNA ETIDA (Spring etida)(G. Dimitrovski) 6'22
(Wedding dance by the Bistrica river)
(V. Simic)
05 KRUG (The Circle) (P. Krstic) 7'07
06 SI ZALJUBIV EDNO MOME  (I fall in love with one girl)  4'22
07 MACKA (The Cat) (Z. Skerl) 11'45
08 ATLANTIS  (B. Rokovic) 5'52
09 BALKAN EKSPRES (F. Jenc) 7'00
10 VILENJAK I VILA (Goblin and fairy) (V. Simic) 6'00
11 ARETUZA  (B. Rokovic) 5'50


This is definitely one of not so many pearls of Yugoslavian jazz . 
In 1978 RTB Big Band celebrated the 30th anniversary  by releasing this double album consisted of recent works recorded from March 73 - February 77.  The title wasn't as imaginative as the music itself and it was just called 1948-1978 that was a bit misleading for the contest of the album. It had a small inscription at the back of the cover saying "With Guests" so also it might be known under this name as well.  Guests in this case on some of the recordings were Dusko Gojkovic, Alan Skidmore, Gerd Dudek, Bora Rokovic.
The well known track "Balkan Express" made the original record sought after and quite expensive but very few had a chance to actually hear the whole album. Once they find the album and pay a pile of money for it they get pleasantly surprised. This double LP is much more then Balkan Express. It is fully packed with a top quality big band jazz fusion. Every track is a winner. Check it and try to chose which one's your favourite.


TOSHIO MATSUURA @ shibuya fm
DAVID BASSIN @ freefall
BEN G @ right on fm
MIKE CHADWICK @ smooth fm
RICHARD E @ furtherout recordings
MR. SCRUFF @ hot pot
CIAN  @ an taobh tuathail
MICHAEL RÜTTEN @ soulpatrol
SIMONE @ jazz it up

RAW DEAL @ groovesanctuary (UK)
I think it's bloody fantastic!!!!! Every tune is a winner!!!! GREAT stuff & Loving it :-)

PAUL MURPHY @ afroartrecords (UK)
Been playing it all day... wild weird & wonderful. just how I like my music. and everything else come to think of it.

TOM WIELAND @ les gammas/panoptikum/7samuarai (Austria-Germany)
one of the best european big band jazz records ever?

DJ SPIDER @ colorblind - plain gaz production (Lyon, France)
Fabulous album! Great sounds ! Full of samples !

SIMON HARRISON @ basic soul (UK)
WOW what an amazing lp and beautiful packaging!

MIGUEL BELLO @ Journeys, (Portugal)

DJ JAZZMADASS @ Radio X (Frankfurt, Germany)
Everything one needs: funky beats and fast chasers, spacy colors, mastery solos, perfect sound. Thanks to CS for adding another true classic to hopefully every jazzheads collection.

Cosmic Sounds has done it again! Un-earthing a rare gem from the European jazz vaults. Every track offers something special for the listener or the dancer. Another winner from Zeljko and the boys…
Funky grooves from behind the Iron Curtain -- a collection of 70s recordings by the Radio Television Beograd Jazz Orchestra -- done in a groovy blend of acoustic horns and electric rhythms! The style is one that was being used heavily at the time by some of the larger groups in the MPS mode -- a Clark-Boland-esque punched-up groove that really breathed new life into the big band format -- and which came across with a style that had plenty of links to funky soundtrack work of the 70s! The group here are using lots of guitar, organ, and keyboards at the bottom of the tunes -- then topping them off with some great horn work that includes solos by Dusko Goykovich, Gerd Dudek, Allan Skidmore, and a few other noteworthy talents on the European scene at the time. And unlike other TV big bands from the period -- like some of the Aussie groups -- the tracks here are all original, and aren't just hokey re-creations of popular numbers. There's a depth and soul to the album that's just great -- a sound that's really far-reaching, but always in-the-pocket and with a commitment to groove!
ADRIAN LEACH @ happy jazz (UK)
Seriously good stuff
VALANCHE @ urban landscapes (USA)
Who would have thought that Belgrade has its jazz groove on? What an awesome long-player of energetic and soulful jazz. So cool, it took my breath away!

KARSTEN @ jazzvibes (Germany)
just listening to the jazz orkestar beograd album. fantastic!!! will for sure play some of the tracks on todays radio show and also in the club.

RAGGY @ off limits (UK)
excellent music as always! Track number 3 – Prolecna Etida is killa! Sounds like Too High by Stevie Wonder, Track 11 – Aretuza is killa! This is my kind of sublime jazz...
...something quite extraordinary and unique.. check FULL REVIEW

I have seldom been as impressed with an album than I have been with this remarkable Yugoslavian big band...The music of the RTB has a beginning a middle and an end so it inspires and at its conclusion leaves you fulfilled....This band rocks and swings cruelly and will leave you exhausted.

holy grail of rare yugoslav jazz finally available to everyone. a historic reissue.  I just dedicated 30minutes of my show to it!

SIMONE @ jazz it up!!! (I)
it's a beautiful Big Band-Jazz album. I like every track. Every track is a killer!!!

RICHARD E @ furtherout recordings
RTB JAZZ ORKESTAR – RTB Big Band With Guests – Cosmic Sounds 9/10

Covering sessions from 1973 to 1977 this is big band funk and jazz of the highest order and possibly the strongest Cosmic Sounds release ever. Pauk begins slow and dreamy but builds into a funk fest with earthy flute, Augeresque organ and heavy horns. Kolo has an eastern motif early on from the horns, including baritone sax, but gets heavier and funkier as it progresses with some blistering organ business and Gabor Szabo style guitar. Prolenća Etida has complex drum funk, dirty wah guitar and big, cool horn melodies. Si Zaljubiv Edno Mome is a more mellow affair with echoes of Gil Evans arrangements for Miles on Sketches of Spain, a plaintive trumpet calling through the lush, modal landscape. Atlantis is almost drum and bass with crisp drums and percussion and some grimy bass work. Balkan Ekspres is a fusion classic with great horn riffs, Rhodes and synth play and once again a funky drummer on the job. A great listening experience all the way through. If you only buy one big band jazz album this year make it this one.

TIM PERLICH @ now magazine, toronto
Check the REVIEW

GREG VICKERS,  Hamilton, Ontario
first came to my attention with the track 'balkan ekspres', from the cosmic sounds compilation of the same name. the album is incredible, an energetic fusion of funk and jazz with some rock leanings in the rhythm section. the brass is warm, wide and pronounced. the large band allows for loose swelling and receding of notes and motifs that really play to the emotions ... when it grooves it's just mind-blowing; when it's contemplative it's moody, cinematic even. excellent horn and guitar solos, and exemplary sound quality production across the board. Extremely well-recommended, it will redefine the way you think about "jazz fusion".

Worthy of comparison with other great big bands, James 'Smack' Henderson' the Clarke-Boland, Ellington's or Quincy Jones'. Rich, moody and stuffed with funky breaks, the RTB recordings have a freshness that guarantees their longevity. Beautiful gatefold double LP with every track a delight. An essential record .

Big band jazz honestly isn’t my thing, and I suspect neither is it yours. Why? Big bands are best restricted to football games, and if they get funky, it’s probably going to be hopelessly embarrassing. Jazz Orkestar RTB is one of the few exceptions. These Yugoslavians pulled out all the stops, sounding more like a blaxploitation soundtrack, even reputedly making Quincy Jones a fan when he saw them play. Click here to check out “Balkan Ekspres”, probably their most well-known track, but not this is no one-tracker - “Krug” has a mammoth break, and “Circle” is also a personal fave. Reissue is on Cosmic Sounds.

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