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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Emil Viklicky & George Mraz: Mraz & Viklicky: Together Again

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In European jazz the assimilation of folkloric influences has become commonplace as the American vernacular--or more specifically the Great American Songbook--exerts less of a hold. Czech musicians pianist Emil Viklický and bassist George Mraz's collaborations on Morava (Fantasy/Milestone 2001)--with drummer Billy Hart and singer Zuzana Lapcikova--and Moravian Gems (Cube-Métier 2007) with singer/violinist Iva Bittova and drummer Laco Tropp--explored the beauty of Moravian folk music in a jazz context. ACT Music's Siggi Loch was so captivated that he has made it ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Emil Viklicky: Emil Viklicky 60

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Emil Viklicky Emil Viklicky 60 Multisonic 2009

Imagine Barack Obama introducing, say, keyboard player Herbie Hancock for a live concert at the White House on the occasion of Hancock's 60th birthday (a milestone, incidentally, that Hancock reached on April 12, 2000). Pianist Emil Viklicky's latest CD was created under somewhat analogous circumstances. The analogy is admittedly a bit strained, and not just because Czech president Vaclav Klaus doesn't wield the sheer power ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Emil Viklicky Trio: Ballads And More

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Emil Viklicky Trio Ballads And More Arta 2008

Pianist Kenny Barron, on several occasions, has said that in his view the ballad is what separates the wheat from the chaff with musicians. “As far as I'm concerned," he maintains, “if you can't play a ballad, forget about it!" Numerous jazz luminaries, as if in recognition of this fact, devoted an entire album to the form, including saxophonists Dexter Gordon, John Coltrane, Stanley ...

INTERVIEW

Emil Viklicky: Patriarch of Czech Jazz Piano

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When most American jazz buffs think of the Czech Republic, they probably think of bassists George Mraz and Miroslav Vitous or keyboardist Jan Hammer. However, Europeans knowledgeable about the same topic probably think of Emil Vicklický, the acknowledged “Patriarch of Czech Jazz Piano." Known for combining the melodism and tonalities of Moravian folk music with modern jazz harmonies and classical orchestration in a distinctly individual style, Vicklický grew up in the former Czechoslovakia, where his father was a university art ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Emil Viklicky: Cookin' In Bonn

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Mention the Czech Republic to American jazz fans and most would likely think of George Mraz, Miroslav Vitous or Jan Hammer. However, these three musicians would almost certainly agree that pianist Emil Vicklický is the “Patriarch of Czech jazz," a title bestowed on him by general consensus.

Without question, there remain lingering pockets of Americans who doubt, privately if not aloud, whether Europeans can really play jazz; in fairness, there are also many Europeans who believe Americans can't really play ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Scott Robinson & the Emil Viklicky Trio: Summertime

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Scott Robinson has been affected a bit by the Roland Kirk syndrome. His interest in and ability to play just about every saxophone ever invented--and some that haven't--has obscured his talent to listeners more comfortable with musicians that can be identified by a single instrument, in spite of being very active recently both as a leader and member of Joe Lovano's Nonet.

Pianist Emil Viklicky is the best known jazz musician working in the Czech Republic today but ...


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