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


Shop

More Articles

Read Northern Adventures CD/LP/Track Review Northern Adventures
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 28, 2017
Read Collider CD/LP/Track Review Collider
by John Sharpe
Published: February 28, 2017
Read Eos CD/LP/Track Review Eos
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 28, 2017
Read More Than This CD/LP/Track Review More Than This
by Henning Bolte
Published: February 28, 2017
Read Road to Forever CD/LP/Track Review Road to Forever
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Avenida Graham CD/LP/Track Review Avenida Graham
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 27, 2017
Read "All These Hands" CD/LP/Track Review All These Hands
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 20, 2016
Read "Layers" CD/LP/Track Review Layers
by Mark Sullivan
Published: November 1, 2016
Read "Pale White Shout" CD/LP/Track Review Pale White Shout
by Glenn Astarita
Published: August 10, 2016
Read "Early Americans" CD/LP/Track Review Early Americans
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: June 29, 2016
Read "Accortet" CD/LP/Track Review Accortet
by John Sharpe
Published: May 25, 2016
Read "Evergreen (Canceled World)" CD/LP/Track Review Evergreen (Canceled World)
by Dave Wayne
Published: January 4, 2017

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!