His first album in over a decade, “Playing It Forward,” dropped Friday as the single, “Motor City Sway,” is perched in the Billboard Top 25.
DETROIT (9 October 2020): It’s been eleven years since contemporary jazz flutist Alexander Zonjic dropped a new album, making Friday’s release of his 13th collection, “Playing It Forward,” an event album. A genuine multi-hyphenate, Zonjic is a longtime multimedia personality (he hosts television and radio shows) and artistic director for nearly a dozen music festivals and concert series throughout Detroit and the Michigan region in addition to being a recording artist, explaining the lengthy gap between albums. Finishing the new Hi-Falutin Music release produced by GRAMMY-winning keyboardist Jeff Lorber was made possible because COVID-19 forced the cancellation of most of the calendar of live music events that Zonjic produces.
Whetting the appetite of both radio programmers and fans alike is the disc’s first single, “Motor City Sway,” a tune written and produced by Pieces of a Dream’s James Lloyd. A fun video shot on stage and on the streets of Detroit (the Canadian-born Zonjic’s adopted home), including at the Motown Museum, reveals a “Motor City Sway” dance to go along with the funky R&B instrumental track currently climbing the Billboard Top 25.
“Playing It Forward” is an energetic blend of jazz, funk, fusion and soul comprised of five Lorber originals along with a handful of reimagined classics. The outing showcases the work of top shelf musicians, including guitarists Chuck Loeb (one of his final recordings before his passing), Paul Jackson Jr. and Michael Thompson, drummer Gary Novak, horn player and arranger David Mann, and 14-year-old South African keyboard phenom Justin-Lee Schultz, who can be seen performing a talk box solo in the “Motor City Sway” video.
The album title intentionally riffs on “paying it forward,” which is something the benevolent Zonjic does generously throughout metropolitan Detroit and the Michigan region. The award-winning musician is organizing and headlining a November 13 fundraiser for Mariners Inn, a shelter and treatment center for the homeless.
Below is a sampling of the initial album reviews:
“A fantastic album, which was more than worth the wait!” – Keys and Chords
“The album is spectacular…Rarely has an album fascinated me as much as Alexander Zonjic's Playing It Forward.” – Smooth Jazz Daily
“With loads of the usual flourishes and touches that give it edge and keep it interesting as well as several co-writes with Jeff Lorber…It’s a tasty, light hearted romp throughout.” – Midwest Record
“Contemporary jazz flutist Alexander Zonjic is a legend in the Motor City, and he’s now back after 11 years with a brand new album (Playing It Forward) and a song that should make every Detroiter (and every honorary Detroiter around the world) take notice.” – Soul Tracks
“Track grabbing attention at the moment is ‘Motor City Sway’…our man’s homage to his adopted city…Enjoy your ride around Detroit with Zonjic and his dancers!” – Jazz&Soul&Funk
“Along with a half a dozen new songs (five of which were penned or co-penned by Lorber), Zonjic has also reimagined five cover tunes for flute with fresh arrangements…delightful new album.” – Exclusive Magazine
For more information, please visit http://www.zonjic.com.