Sunday, March 1, 2009

GigTips: March 2009

Another month in Prague and that means another month of live jazz to enjoy. It is hard to believe, looking at the grey skies and the bare trees, that by the end of March spring should be well and truly with us. For this life-affirming metamorphosis there should be a life-affirming soundtrack and so, as always, here are Prague Jazz’s suggestions for some great nights of live music.

Our first tip has to be the eagerly awaited concert by the Robert Balzar Trio with John Abercrombie (22/3). Touring Europe to celebrate their excellent collaborative album, Tales, this is a rare chance to see the fusion of one of Europe’s best jazz trios with one of the world’s best jazz guitarists in the flesh. The concert is at Prague’s Lucerna Music bar, notable for its homely atmosphere and cheap beer. Be there.

As ever there is a bumper crop of fine concerts at Agharta Jazz Centrum this month. The Luboš Andršt Group drop by twice (11, 23/3), as do the fun and frantic Rhythm Desperados (13, 14/3), and woodwind maestro Jiří Stivín (12, 25/3).

If you want to know what Josef Vejvoda has been up to since appearing with the Emil Viklický Quartet on ‘Round Midnight then you can catch him with his Trio at USP Jazz Lounge (18/3). Also appearing at USP this month are two of the most innovative and intense piano-led outfits in Prague, the Karel Růžička Trio (26/3) and the Beata Hlavenková Trio (27/3).

Finally for this month we will suggest a couple of concerts at Reduta. Regular readers of Prague Jazz will know that we are not the biggest fans of this place, mainly because we’re not really turned on by hard seats, extortionate bar prices or rude staff. However it is a venue with great history and famous for Clinton’s sax-blowing session, and so many visitors and locals want to go there once. If you’re going there then you might as well see someone good, and the jewels in the Reduta crown this month are the fabulous Eva Svobodová (2/3) and the always excellent Emil Viklický Trio (31/3).

Of course there is a whole lot happening as well as these concerts: it is a rare night when there are not at least two or three really top class jazz sessions going down somewhere in the city.

Remember to book ahead with the venue if you want to be sure of a seat, and please tell them that you saw the gig recommended here on Prague Jazz. Have fun…

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