The first time Skip Wilkins Frantisek Uhlir and Jaromir Helešic played together was in January 2012. The following day they got the opportunity of playing at Birdland Neuborg on the Danube. they hit it off and by the time this recording was made in February 2013, they had performed together over 40 times.
The trio brings in a mix of standards and originals setting off with "The Second Time Around." Wilkins lets the melody ebb and flow before he gets into its depth playing with an effervescence that never loses the lyrical thread. Uhliř and Helešic add a thunderous rhythmic bottom, before the former sets out into a rumbling head-on realm that casts the opening for Helešic with Wilkins shifting gears with melodic insertions. The heartfelt beauty of "Song For Jane" is unveiled on the arco. Uhliř, who also composed the tune, finds the sweet spot with his haunting approach. His sensitivity elevates the mood, and with Wilkins and Helešic tempering the movement with their own eloquence, this is a top-notch offering. Wilson's "Take the Fourth" is full of delightful surprises. The pianist swings, his notes agile and melodic. The bass tangents into freer mode, as Uhliř bows into the groove and comes up with shifting patterns. It's an adjunct that boldly cozies up to the main drive. This gig set in motion the future of WUH as a trio.
The common thread they found, the seamless communication and the inherent chemistry that lifts their music to a high level can only lead to the fountain of revelation for a host of listeners.
Track Listing: The Second Time Around; Bossa Cosa; Quiet, Please!; You Are Never at Home; Luiza; Take the Fourth; Song for Jane; Devil May Care; I'll String Along with You.
I was first exposed to jazz when I was tiny. My earliest memory is watching Ella Fitzgerald scat on a Christmas special when I was no older than four. Like many who are from tiny towns, my first extended exposure was listening to the high school jazz band when I was a kid
I was first exposed to jazz when I was tiny. My earliest memory is watching Ella Fitzgerald scat on a Christmas special when I was no older than four. Like many who are from tiny towns, my first extended exposure was listening to the high school jazz band when I was a kid. For some reason I remember an arrangement of Hey Jude they did. My first real exposure was Stan Kenton in the Smithville, MO high school gym. Kenton and the band director there were old friends, so he would play there from time to time. My dad took me without telling me where we were going and it was the only show he ever took me to. I remember that Bobby Shew played Send In Clowns and I damn near levitated I was so excited. The huge sound and amazing chords floored me. I believe I was 13 at the time. I immediately started practicing and taking lessons. Music became a passion and nearly a career. I also listened to Dick Wright's Jazz Show on KANU every night. I can't even start to explain what I learned lying in bed listening to Dick talk about jazz. I met him once when I was struggling to put together a solo for Joy Spring playing in a combo at KU. Stopped by his office and asked for recommendations. He showed up at my jazz ensemble rehearsal the next day with a tape with example solos. What a kind man Dick Wright was.
My advice to new listeners is to stop worrying about what music is important and focus on music you like. I spent quite a bit of my music life listening to important music I didn't necessarily like. Must say I have quite a bit more fun now listening to music that I deeply enjoy. Some of it is even important.
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