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...

161

Libor Smoldas Quartet: Live At Jazz Dock

Dan Bilawsky By

Sign in to view read count
Czech guitarist Libor Smoldas doesn't buy into the idea that music is simply meant to be a product for commerce. While Smoldas peddles some of his recorded wares like the rest of the performing musicians out there, his third album—Live At Jazz Dock—is actually free for the taking for anybody who wants to visit his website and download it. His self-admitted goal is "simply to get the music to the widest audience possible," and this would seem to be the best way to do it.

The nine live tracks that Smoldas delivers serve as a fine overview of his written oeuvre: "Funky Piece" and "Christopher's Dance" were presented on his debut, On The Playground (Animal Music, 2007); "Lydian Blues" and "Tram Line 57" were originally presented on In New York On Time (Animal Music, 2010); and the remaining compositions represent Smoldas' writing circa 2010.

While In New York On Time paired the young guitarist with American A-listers like bassist George Mraz and drummer Jeff Ballard, this particular album features an outstanding Czech quartet that shares a deep musical connection, and it shows at every turn. "Blues In The Shower" presents the band in top form, toying with a three-against-four, hemiola-type scenario as each solo takes off, whole "One For Kenny Burrell" shows that this group can excel in odd-metered environments.

Fender Rhodes phenom Petr Benes proves to be the chameleon of the group, conjuring vibraphone-like tones in softer moments and more stirring sounds when the heat is on high, but this isn't one of those dates where the guitar and Rhodes dominate, while the bass and drums simply keep time. Drummer Josef Feco and bassist Thomas Hobzek are both given ample space to shine as supporting players and soloists, and they never disappoint. Hobzek's solo on "Funky Piece" is the highlight of the song, though Smoldas comes close with a solo that contains a witty "Surrey With The Fringe On Top" quote, and he brings a brief bit of bombast to the otherwise quiet "Lydian Blues." Feco makes his mark early on, during the album-opening "Christopher's Dance," and continues to dazzle every time he gets some room. Generous as can be with his band mates Smoldas remains the dominant voice throughout, his single-note lines on the album opener an early indicator of his ability to balance technical prowess with taste, an ideal on which he continues to build as the album progresses.

It's very rare that something can simultaneously have no price and be dubbed "priceless" in a positive, artistic sense, but this album fits the bill. Find it for free here.

Track Listing: Christopher's Dance; Blues In The Shower; The Quest; Tram Line 57; One For Kenny Burrell; Levitation; J.T. Blues; Lydian Blues; Funky Piece.

Personnel: Libor Smoldas: guitar; Petr Benes: Fender rhodes; Tomas Hobzek: drums; Josef Feco: bass.

Title: Live At Jazz Dock | Year Released: 2011 | Record Label: Animal Music

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.

Album Reviews
Multiple Reviews
Album Reviews
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 Our Story Album Reviews
Our Story
By Troy Dostert
March 25, 2019
Read Influences Album Reviews
Influences
By Don Phipps
March 25, 2019
Read The Transitory Poems Album Reviews
The Transitory Poems
By Mark Corroto
March 25, 2019
Read Birckhead Album Reviews
Birckhead
By Mike Jurkovic
March 25, 2019
Read Live At Moods Album Reviews
Live At Moods
By Chris M. Slawecki
March 25, 2019
Read Live at Frankie's Jazz Club Album Reviews
Live at Frankie's Jazz Club
By Jack Bowers
March 24, 2019
Read Asperger Album Reviews
Asperger
By Don Phipps
March 24, 2019