3

Libor Smoldas Quartet & Bobby Watson: Intuition

Edward Blanco By

Sign in to view read count
Libor Smoldas Quartet & Bobby Watson: Intuition One of Europe's rising young jazz star is Prague-based guitarist/composer and educator Libor Smoldas who unveils his fifth album as leader with the highly accessible Intuition featuring an all-Czech Republic quartet with alto saxophonist great Bobby Watson appearing as guest. Recorded at the end of the group's Czech tour, the album is in a sense, a follow up to their 18 Days, 2000 Miles (New Port Line, 2012) project coming out of the band's U.S. tour in 2012. Blending a series of original tunes with a Watson cover, the music is traditional straight ahead with elements of hard-bop, jazz-rock and a touch of the progressive flair making for one innovative and energetic session of music.

Though his talents as a guitarist are not in question here, it's Smoldas' skills as a composer that are truly on display and carry the date on this new endeavor. Penned for his youngest son Misha, "Mike's Song" reveals a simple but entertaining melody in 5/4th time highlighting bassist Josef Feco as well the guitarist's own solos. The former Jazz Messenger (Watson) is featured on his classic "In Case You Missed It," a hard bop burner where the altoist and Smoldas light the fire with their play. Drummer Tomas Hobzek starts the beat on the groove-laden "Off the Playground" showcasing some more of the saxophonist's chops in another bop-infused number.

Pianist Petr Benes contributes an original of his own, offering the only tender ballad of the album on the delicate, "5:15 In the Morning" and allowing the leader his first opportunity to display the softer side of his guitar work peeling off some beautiful riffs. The Czech tour, from which this album is inspired, became an opportunity to get to know saxophonist Watson and as such, their friendship led Smoldas to write "Ferry Tale" for the sax master though actually, it is pianist Benes who avails himself of the opportunity to shine with a splendid dance on the keys. Of course Watson eventually weighs in on this one with more hard-driving solos of his own.

Recalling John Coltrane's legendary "Giants Steps" as a base, "Side Steps" is a lively up beat piece of music with an infectious melody and a steamy rhythm pronounced by Hobzek's crashing cymbal accents, for one of the better hard-charging tunes of the set. The album closes on the light jazz-rock-tinged "Twists and Turns," though a slight departure from the main theme of the date, manages to shine as brightly as the previous pieces. To know or understand without proof of evidence is a brief definition of the word "intuition," to conclude that the music on guitarist Libor Smoldas' Intuition is exceptional and compelling, is to accept the proof of this guitarist's talents as a player and composer, clearly evidenced by the superb music encountered here.

Track Listing: Mike's Song; In Case You Missed It; Off The Playground; 5:15 In The Morning; Ferry Tale; Letter Home; Side Steps; Twists and Turns.

Personnel: Libor Smoldas: guitar; Bobby Watson: alto saxophone; Josef Feco: acoustic bass; Petr Benes: piano, Fender Rhodes; Tomas Hobzek: drums.

Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: New Port Line | Style: Modern Jazz


comments powered by Disqus

Shop

More Articles

Read The Big Wig CD/LP/Track Review The Big Wig
by Ian Patterson
Published: May 24, 2017
Read The Dreamer Is the Dream CD/LP/Track Review The Dreamer Is the Dream
by Mark Sullivan
Published: May 24, 2017
Read Bill Evans – Another Time: The Hilversum Concert CD/LP/Track Review Bill Evans – Another Time: The Hilversum Concert
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: May 24, 2017
Read The Failure of Words CD/LP/Track Review The Failure of Words
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 24, 2017
Read Groove Dreams CD/LP/Track Review Groove Dreams
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: May 23, 2017
Read Kami Fusen CD/LP/Track Review Kami Fusen
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 23, 2017
Read "For Free" CD/LP/Track Review For Free
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: February 13, 2017
Read "Living Water" CD/LP/Track Review Living Water
by Edward Blanco
Published: March 15, 2017
Read "05:21" CD/LP/Track Review 05:21
by Jim Trageser
Published: November 28, 2016
Read "Interlude: Atticus Live!-The Music of Jesse Lewis" CD/LP/Track Review Interlude: Atticus Live!-The Music of Jesse Lewis
by Karl Ackermann
Published: November 29, 2016
Read "One More Manhattan" CD/LP/Track Review One More Manhattan
by Jim Olin
Published: May 28, 2016
Read "Clarinet (& Piano)" CD/LP/Track Review Clarinet (& Piano)
by John Eyles
Published: February 8, 2017

Why wait?

Support All About Jazz and we'll deliver exclusive content, hide ads, hide slide-outs, and provide read access to our future articles.

Buy it!