Album “Ascension” is a vocal-compositional debut. Seven original songs and one remake speak in contemporary jazz language about love and humanity.
Sanja: “...For me, composing is joy - a lot of the material came over years, some in dreams. ‘Ascension’ was a rebirth of myself (I turned one recently:) - ...the arrangements were largely done at the piano but I also used the tenor as a real extension of my own voice. Gratefully, excellent musicians were involved...of course, maneuvering production successfully, against significant odds, was a real feat - one I sometimes still doubt I accomplished, (...until the next review!) I am nothing but grateful!.."
Fellow artist, trumpeteer and pilgrim KScot Sparks says this: "...Enter Sanja Markovic and her recent project, Ascension. I, for one, am waiting carefully for the present tone and phrase (from ASCENSION) to winsomely manifest the profoundly shareable Meaning; her first few bars have taught me to do so. Even in our present consumerist mess of culture, Substance yet convicts; when its emanation from a body is ‘ipso facto’ one from real Insight, the collective head must turn. Indeed, awake; and heads way up! ’ This set of verbal and harmonic constellations pertains to embodiment rather than to mere signing; it therein portends great things. Arrangements, ensemble work, and solos are dependably fine; it’s all gloriously haunted, though, by a vocal-compositional vision that only sometimes falls short of the prophetic. Don’t miss these transformative transformations. ..."
Composition "Sovereign State of Mind", featured on the album, wins an "Award with a Distinction" at 5th International Jazz Composition Contest in Katowice, Poland, December 2018.
After debuting at the Belgrade Jazz Festival 2017, this material was performed at Metropolis Jazz Fest in 2018.
Tim Dickeson, a "Jazz Wise" journalist, about the performance at the Belgrade Jazz Festival: "Sanja Markovic (only vocalist at the festival) performed songs from her debut albums "Ascension". She is also an excellent saxophonist and composer, but her real power, to me, is in her voice - deep and exciting, with that emotion which makes you want to listen to her over and over again."
Marcin Puławski (LMF Poland): "We had to wait until the last day of the festival for more Serbian artists where appeared, among others phenomenal Sanja Marković - composer, singer and multi-instrumentalist. Her concert was a great surprise, because the artist's brand is beyond the borders of this country and is not known yet. She is endowed with an extremely deep, low and beautifully voice reminiscent of Cassandra Wilson herself. She was accompanied by a sensational band in which Maks Kotchetov (saxophone) stood out, as well as an intriguing group of vocals, in jazz style, unfortunately rare."
“This album, symbolically named ”Ascension”, is my own ascendance as a musician, a being and a part of the whole. I believe it carries the light of truth and colors of a dream. I hope it reaches many.”