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Jubilee Suite: Live At the Grey Eagle

Jubilee Suite: Live At the Grey Eagle by Pavel Wlosok
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Pavel Wlosok

Label: New Port Line
Released: 2012
Duration: 56:21
Views: 470

Track Listing

1 Last Call (Live) by Pavel Wlosok, Mike McGuirk & John Riley 9:37 2 Autumn Impressions (Live) by Pavel Wlosok, Mike McGuirk & John Riley 5:55 3 Speeding Ticket (Live) by Pavel Wlosok, Mike McGuirk & John Riley 6:51 4 Victoria (Live) by Pavel Wlosok, Mike McGuirk & John Riley 5:03 5 Via Transformativa (Live) by Pavel Wlosok, Mike McGuirk & John Riley 6:22 6 Via Positiva (Live) by Pavel Wlosok, Mike McGuirk & John Riley 6:35 7 Via Negativa (Live) by Pavel Wlosok, Mike McGuirk & John Riley 5:25 8 Via Creativa (Live) by Pavel Wlosok, John Riley & Mike McGuirk 10:28


Additional Personnel / Information

Pavel Wlosok - fender rhodes, compositions Mike McGuirk - acoustic bass John Riley - drums

Album Description

(written 2012) Pavel Wlosok, now thirty nine years old, a pianist, composer, and jazz educator, first studied at the Janacek Conservatory of Ostrava when he was fourteen. He continued his studies at the Janacek Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts in Brno(both in the Czech Republic) until 1993. He then continued his studies at the University Of North Texas in Denton and between 2000-2002 directed jazz studies program at Truman State University in Kirksville, MO where he led the university jazz ensembles. Since 2002 he has been the director of jazz studies at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, NC and has served the Commercial and Electronic Music program, as well. The trio presented on this recording was first put together in 2002 and its direction has been characterized by Wlosok as “acoustic straight-ahead mainstream.” This, alone, in today’s world full of fusion and world-music integration is a rather unusual concept, especially when one considers Wlosok’s dual interest in both classical and jazz. The personnel on this album combine three slightly different music generations. The oldest of the three is drummer John Riley who has performed with Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie and Milt Jackson. Therefore, he is the most experienced and also the most capable in contributing to this trio concept in terms of fitting into the mood of this ensemble. Noticeably younger is the bassist Mike McGuirk – Wlosok’s classmate and favorite bassist of his from the North Texas years. Constant movement of his bass lines contributes greatly to the original concept of this trio’s sound. When one considers this slightly retrospective musical concept, one will also notice a similar approach chosen for the recording technique itself. This recording was made live in a music club using just one stereo microphone. This technique resembles the time before a multi-track recording technique was available. The final result captures the atmosphere of the entire space, including the audience’s reactions and noises associated with its movement. The vibe of the performance supports this approach as the three artists concentrate on an uninterrupted and consistent flow of musical ideas. One can hear them capturing the ever-present tension without the need to look for new patterns without harmonic or rhythmic strangeness. This alone will catch the attention of today’s listener, one who is used to the sound of today’s Jazz. Primarily however it is the compact and cohesive sound of this trio, which helps to capture listeners’ attention. Wlosok’s consistent sound of the Fender Rhodes keeps the color unchanged. His ever-moving single melody lines are enhanced by his sparingly spaced left-hand voicings, whose majority is given enough time to fill the sound of the empty space in a way which the sound of acoustic piano can’t compete. Under all this, there is the ever-moving acoustic bass line, which does not steal attention away, yet contributes inventively to the overall trio sound. The drums for the most part are in the background, but their resourceful sound during solos or individual entrances are proof that they are controlled by someone with an impeccable technique, as well as, perfect feel for the tradition of Jazz. The movement and clarity are the main contributing elements to this album’s sound and their constant and compelling approach prevails to one’s analyses of its contrasting moods. In the first half of the album we are introduced to four songs, two of which are fast and two slow (once called ballads). The first one “Last Call” is simply an “opener”, which introduces the fundamental trio’s sound and concept, the third “Speeding Ticket” is almost epic and self-explanatory description of the author’s unfortunate experience with the North Carolina state patrol. Slow “Autumn Impressions” and “Victoria” are delicate and personal dedications to the author’s wife and first daughter. The second half of the album features four more compositions compiled into a suite entitled “Jubilee Suite” and represents rather freely the concept of capturing four seasons via musical means. Each movement has its own vibe. For example the “Fall’s” rather melancholic movement entitled “Via Negativa” brings a nice contrast to the ever-moving and faster “Spring” and “Summer” movements before it. The longest and final track on this album entitled “Via Creativa”, which represents winter, starts where the “Fall” movement ends, only to quickly transfer onto a faster paced middle section, which is then followed by a remarkably fluent transition and then the album’s peaceful ending. The individual passages, consisting of various moods, lightly impact each other with a remarkable fluency, where the sound of the keyboard yet again moves forward and nicely fills the acoustic space of the room. The primary inspiration in this ABA-like final movement is the concept of the Blues, yet used without any hint of expression normally associated with this traditional song form. Even Jazz mainstream, or if you prefer straight-ahead Jazz, which we hardly ever hear from our younger groups in Europe today, can simply sound fresh and effective and even for the lack of a better word “new”. And because of this, when one looks at our current generation of jazz musicians in their 30s, this album by Pavel Wlosok brings (certainly influenced by his long tenure in the USA) a different perspective; one which at least at this level of quality is, so far, truly unique.


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