Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The View From The Front Row - August 2011

Welcome to the August edition of Prague Jazz! We hope you enjoyed our extra “summer supplement” - the full-length English version of Emil Viklický's recent interview with Jazz Podium. Many thanks once again to Emil for sending us the transcript. We were lucky enough to catch Emil twice in July, once with his regular band (František Uhlíř, Laco Tropp) and once with talented young bassist Jan Tengler sitting for the absent Franta. He's a talented young guy and Emil worked him hard by pulling out a lot of different tunes, including some of his originals that deserve to be heard more often.

Another band that was sounding fresh was the Robert Balzar Trio. It had been over a year since we last saw them live and their set has changed a lot. It included a lot of new music, both originals and interpretations, and some twists on old favourites. There is a lot of energy in that band at the moment – they're definitely worth seeing and hopefully we can get Robert to do an interview for us soon.

The most memorable concert was a family affair - Karel Růžička jr. flew in from NYC in the afternoon and barely had time for a fried cheese and a beer before he was performing with his father's Trio at UMG. As if that wasn't enough to keep him on his toes, his dad presented him with some new songs to play that night! It was one of those special gigs, where great music combines with atmosphere and emotion.

At the beginning in the month I was asked to write a guide to Prague's jazz scene by airline easyJet for their holiday blog. I gave them a Top 10 things for any jazz fan to experience, which can be found at: http://holidayblog.easyjet.com/op-10-jazz-experiences-in-prague. Hopefully this marks the dawn of a whole new era of budget airline jazz tourism bringing music connoisseurs from all over Britain. Or something like that.

This month's live review is from Reduta, where young guitarist Libor Šmoldas put his Quartet through its paces. Younger artists are also represented in our album reviews by Projekt Z, an unconventional album from guitarist Petr Zelenka and associates. We also review a new album from a not-so-new guy on the scene: František Uhlíř's 60th birthday concert recorded as part of the Jazz na Hradě series. As usual we end with our GigTips – a selection of the best jazz concerts in Prague this month. Enjoy the stuff, and of course, enjoy the music...

1 comment:

mike said...

This is a great post and it really provides us with a good idea of the kind of things we can find on Musical Prague City Breaks. I can't wait this year!