All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

3

Libor Smoldas Quartet & Bobby Watson: Intuition

Edward Blanco By

Sign in to view read count
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.

Title: Intuition | Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: New Port Line

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Multiple Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Intuition

Intuition

New Port Line
2013

buy
Live At Jazz Dock

Live At Jazz Dock

Animal Music
2011

buy
In New York On Time

In New York On Time

Animal Music
2010

buy

Related Articles

Read Suite 150 / A Big Band Portrait CD/LP/Track Review
Suite 150 / A Big Band Portrait
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 16, 2018
Read Lost Days CD/LP/Track Review
Lost Days
by Don Phipps
Published: August 16, 2018
Read Cabin In The Sky CD/LP/Track Review
Cabin In The Sky
by Chris Mosey
Published: August 16, 2018
Read Higher CD/LP/Track Review
Higher
by Jim Trageser
Published: August 16, 2018
Read Faroe CD/LP/Track Review
Faroe
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 15, 2018
Read The Darkness Of A Fairy Tale CD/LP/Track Review
The Darkness Of A Fairy Tale
by Gareth Thompson
Published: August 15, 2018
Read "Never Bet The Devil Your Head" CD/LP/Track Review Never Bet The Devil Your Head
by Chris Mosey
Published: April 10, 2018
Read "To the Bone" CD/LP/Track Review To the Bone
by John Kelman
Published: August 26, 2017
Read "The Quest" CD/LP/Track Review The Quest
by Geno Thackara
Published: April 15, 2018
Read "Atody Man" CD/LP/Track Review Atody Man
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: January 27, 2018
Read "Turbulence" CD/LP/Track Review Turbulence
by Tyran Grillo
Published: March 17, 2018
Read "25th Anniversary Project" CD/LP/Track Review 25th Anniversary Project
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: February 12, 2018