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EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Miroslav Vitous Group: Miroslav Vitous Group

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With the ongoing demand for historic titles to see first-time CD issue, ECM has raised the ante even further with Re:solutions: seven classic recordings, released on CD (four available for the first time and one previously only available for a limited time in Japan), vinyl and high resolution digital formats. They're all important, but 1981's Miroslav Vitous Group stands out as one of the most significant, completing, as it does--and more than three decades after the fact--the Czech bassist's early '80s triptych that began with 1980's First Meeting and ended with 1983's Journey's End. First Meeting was a ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Miroslav Vitous Group /w Michel Portal: Remembering Weather Report

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On the surface, Remembering Weather Report possesses little in common with the fusion supergroup that Czech bassist Miroslav Vitous co-founded in the early '70s with keyboardist Joe Zawinul and saxophonist Wayne Shorter, before being summarily removed on the cusp of greater commercial success. Weather Report was a decidedly electric group; Vitous' is unapologetically acoustic, and doesn't really resemble, musically, early albums including WR's remarkable self-titled, 1971 debut and '72 follow-up, I Sing the Body Electric, both on Columbia. But scratch beneath the surface and there's an intrepid spirit there that pays greater homage than more direct tributes. Weather ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Festival International de Jazz de Montreal 2008: Days 9-11

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Days 1-3 | Days 4-5 | Days 6-8 | Days 9-11

Cassandra Wilson/Christian Scott Sextet James Carter Quintet/Jean Vanasse and Miroslav Vitous Mory Kanté Festival International de Jazz de Montréal Montréal, Quebec, Canada July 4-6, 2008

With the demise of one of Montreal's most famous clubs, Le Spectrum, the 29th edition of Festival International de Jazz de Montréal utilized the nearby Place des Arts more considerably. Specfically, the 765 capacity Théâtre Jean- Duceppe was used more extensively to house shows that used to play in the 900-seat, ...

INTERVIEWS

Miroslav Vitous: It Comes Down to Taste

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You can't ask for a more interesting interview subject than Miroslav Vitous, but anyone in search of self-deprecation or false modesty would be best advised to seek elsewhere. Simply put, Miroslav Vitous believes in Miroslav Vitous; he believes--no, knows--that his work is important, and he will not waste a moment pretending otherwise.That's not terribly surprising, since the 60-year-old, Czech-born bassist and composer's resume places him dead-center in some very important musical settings and movements. Vitous was playing violin at age six, piano at age ten, and had settled upon bass--the instrument he's made his name playing--by the age ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Miroslav Vitous: Universal Syncopations II

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Bassist/composer Miroslav Vitous will likely be regarded in history as one of the founding members of Weather Report, staying with them until 1973. Emigrating to the United States from Czechoslovakia in 1966, Vitous worked with a wide variety of musicians and has continued to do so since returning to Europe. He has recorded fourteen albums as a leader, updating Universal Syncopations (ECM, 2003) with a second volume.

Universal Syncopations II does not bear a lot of similarity to the earlier album. The Czech bassist again uses a full orchestra but introduces several players, some of whom are making ...

PODCAST

Miroslav Vitous: Universal Innovator

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On the new episode of The Jazz Session, Jason Crane interviews bassist Miroslav Vitous. Vitous came to the U.S. in 1966, and quickly became part of the New York jazz scene. He was a founding member of Weather Report along with Wayne Shorter and Joe Zawinul. Vitous played on the landmark trio session Now He Sings, Now He Sobs (Blue Note, 1968) with Chick Corea and Roy Haynes. Vitous's new album is Universal Syncopations II (ECM, 2007), the sequel to his critically acclaimed Universal Syncopations (ECM, 2003). The album features trumpeter Randy Brecker, woodwind player Bob Mintzer, drummer ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Miroslav Vitous: Universal Syncopations II

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At least one underlying context of the ECM label has been to present jazz where the line between improvisation and composition/arrangement is blurred. When the improvisations are not “jazzy" as the term is commonly understood, it begins to be difficult to discern where the composition ends and the improvisation begins. This is not to say that the music demands that the listener be able to figure this out, but rather that the composer, instead of presenting a tune or an idea to the band, lays before it an organic structure in which they are to fit. For ...



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