Kratochvil, Martin & Jazz Q
Znovu

  • Format: LP
  • Band: Kratochvil, Martin & Jazz Q
  • Title: Znovu
  • Band's Origin: CS
  • Style: instrumental progressive Rock - Jazzrock
  • Rating: 8
  • Release Year: 2013
  • Recording Year: 2013
  • Production Year: 2013
  • Record Company: Studio Budikov
  • Item's Number: SB 023
  • Color of the Label: dark blue
  • Edition: original
  • Extras: inner sleeve
  • EAN: 8594159980235
  • Weight: 264 g
Grading
  • Visual: new
  • Acoustic:
  • Cover: new
Studio Budikov release information

Once again, Jazz Q is back on the road, playing at our old haunts and some great new venues. Once again, back in the studio, recording a new LP: Znovu / Again.

When, in 1986, I took a break from the exhausting routine of touring with my electric group Jazz Q, turning to the calmer, soothing acoustic sounds of my duo with guitarist Tony Ackerman (and later adding the percussionist Imram Musa Zangi), I didn’t know that once you have lived inside the cutting sound of electric jazz-rock, you can’t shake it off. John McLaughlin tried it with Shakti, as did Herbie Hancock and Chick Corea, and they too came up back to their electric instruments, to again be a part of that powerful rhythmic groove that, like a drug, ensnares any musician who has tried it.

But of course, acoustic music has its own magic, and I found another magic in the production of travel films, which I not only shot and directed, but to which I also wrote music influenced by Eastern pentatonic modes. But already back in 2003 we put together the old Jazz Q, and whenever my crowded schedule as President of Bonton Music allowed, we tried to get back into the concert circuit. But that was a little premature; there was just no time and too many conflicts.

It’s hard to believe that 28 years have passed since the release of our last, still vinyl album Hvezdon (Asteroid) on Supraphon. The final track, Bozi Clovek (God’s Child), dedicated to our prematurely deceased bass player Lada Padrunek, left a kind of question mark - one that has haunted me this whole time and demanded an answer.

Well, here it is: the new LP Again. Since Hvezdon, my music went in several different directions. In one, my acoustic adventures keep unfolding, honed by decades of concerts and eight albums with guitarist Tony Ackerman and percussionist Imram Musa Zangi, as well as the experiment with the Association of New Acoustic Music (on the album Ornament). The second direction is my extensive film music, which accompanies hundreds of Czech and foreign films. The third direction is marked by the LP you have in your hands. One could see it as a synthesis of all that has come before, reflecting even the more “classical” sounds, with some serious horizontal harmonies, as in Stinohra (Shadowplay) and Zavrat (Vertigo). But I haven’t abandoned my beloved Mahavishnu Orchestra, whose multi-layered harmonies can be detected in Potopa (The Flood), Smireni (Making Up) and in several other songs. You’ll also find here more orchestrated versions of some older acoustic pieces I wrote for the Kratochvil/Ackerman duo: Cundracke Blues (Tramp’s Blues) and others. And besides the more carefully composed pieces, you’ll feel the intoxication of raw rhythm and soaring solos, as in Hrom do police (Bomb Shell). The sounds of Santana and Latin music also have their place here, in Zdroje tu jsou (We’ve Got the Goods). And, as in all of my albums, the blues are felt throughout, like in the slow, harmonically rich Cundracke Blues (Tramp’s Blues).

And last, but certainly not least, a bow to the other musicians in the group, with whom it’s a great pleasure to perform, travel and record. Let’s take them in order of “seniority of service” with Jazz Q:

Premysl Faukner, who has played often with Jazz Q since the 1970’s, is a wonderful, sensitive musician with an, inimitable, personal style on the fretless bass. On Again, he also takes up the fretted bass, and cranks out hard, rocking lines in a new style that few of his lifelong fans would recognize.

Zdenek Fiser, the maven of the “old times” of jazz-rock, but at the same time also a sensitive accompanist to chansonniere Hana Hegerova, shows here his love of a piercing guitar sound and rock riffs, which sometime, like an untamed force float above the complex harmonies of the leader/keyboardist. This clash of these two qualities best characterizes Fiser’s unique sound.

Ladislav Deczi is the youngster in the group, which has always sought out a strong rhythmic backing - and has found it in this expert playing, honed in the USA by this son of the renowned trumpeter Laco Deczi. He too, can go back and forth between driving the group like a powerful motor, and creatively decorating with his jazzy cymbals. In the studio he’s always optimistic and inspiring.

Imram Musa Zangi is listed here as a “guest”, but otherwise he would be at the top of the “seniority” list, what with all the concerts he has played with us. His eclectic assortment of instruments has been with me for my whole career; you’ll find him on several of the acoustic records and much of my film music as well. It’s just a joy to play and record with him.

Finally, I can’t leave out the master sound engineer of my Budikov Studio. Matej Vecera, who has lived through the crooked and difficult paths this album has taken, and with enthusiasm and expertise straightened them out, all the way through the endless versions of the final mix.

I wish you a beautiful listening experience with this far-ranging LP Again, and I look forward to seeing you again at one of our concerts!

Martin Kratochvíl