After his return from the States in the late sixties, world-class trumpeter Dusko Goykovich established himself as the prime pioneer of the Balkan/jazz synthesis with his legendary album Swinging Macedonia. When he was invited to the 1994 Skopje jazz festival, he felt enthusiastic about playing in Macedonia again after 30 years. In addition to a big band performance at the festival, he went into the studio to record a small band featuring his long-time friend, Italian saxophone player Gianni Basso, as a co-leader. Joined by an All-Balkan rhythm trio of great young talents from Macedonia, Croatia, and Slovenia, "A Night in Skopje" is the very first recording Goykovich and Basso did together. Proving the maturity of a musical friendship that started some forty years ago, this is a classic quintet date with lush ballads, straight bebop, and subtle hints of Balkan melody.
Back in 1973, Dusko started to work on an orchestral suite of original compositions inspired by his Balkan roots. Somehow following the model of Gil Evans' and Miles Davis' legendary album Sketches of Spain, the first version of Dusko's "Yugoslavian Sketches" was recorded in the seventies for radio airplay. For the live recording in 1992, Dusko's opus magnum was revised by fellow trumpeter Palle Mikkelborg (composer of Miles Davis' Amandla) who also directed the music in concert. Now called "Balkan Blues," this 50-minute suite for soloist, jazz band, symphonic horn section and percussion is considered Dusko's most important work to date and one of the outstanding productions in the NDR history.