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Miroslav Vitous: Ziljabu Nights - Live at Theater Gutersloh

Read "Ziljabu Nights - Live at Theater Gutersloh" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

This live album celebrates the 8th edition of the German record label's European Jazz Legends series, culminating in a book to be published in 2018. And each album is finalized with an interview track. So, it would make sense that eminent Czech bassist and co-founder of Weather Report, Miroslav Vitous would be included in the progression of this series. Other than drummer Roberto Gatto, the quintet comprises the same personnel who appeared on the successful Music of Weather Report (ECM, ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Miroslav Vitous: Music of Weather Report

Read "Music of Weather Report" reviewed by John Ephland

The music on bassist Miroslav Vitous' Music Of Weather Report is a fascinating document by an original member of that seminal group, formed in 1970. Revisiting music he helped to create as well as one tune that came after he left the group in 1974 (along with new music he wrote and one from original member Wayne Shorter's time with Miles Davis), one can enter the mind of this man's singular reinterpretations of such gems as “Seventh Arrow," but also ...

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Miroslav Vitous: Music of Weather Report

Read "Music of Weather Report" reviewed by Mark Sullivan

Bassist Miroslav Vitous was a founding member of Weather Report, making him one of the architects of the highly improvisational approach taken by the original band. On his earlier album Remembering Weather Report (ECM, 2009) he evoked the spirit of the old band and its collective improvisational style (characterized by keyboardist Joe Zawinul as “No one solos, everyone solos"). This time he works directly with Weather Report repertoire (plus a few brief new compositions). Both the instrumentation and the stylistic ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Miroslav Vitous Group: Miroslav Vitous Group

Read "Miroslav Vitous Group: Miroslav Vitous Group" reviewed by John Kelman

With the ongoing demand for historic titles to see first-time CD issue, ECM has raised the ante even further with Re:solutions: seven classic recordings, released on CD (four available for the first time and one previously only available for a limited time in Japan), vinyl and high resolution digital formats. They're all important, but 1981's Miroslav Vitous Group stands out as one of the most significant, completing, as it does--and more than three decades after the fact--the Czech bassist's early ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Miroslav Vitous Group /w Michel Portal: Remembering Weather Report

Read "Remembering Weather Report" reviewed by John Kelman

On the surface, Remembering Weather Report possesses little in common with the fusion supergroup that Czech bassist Miroslav Vitous co-founded in the early '70s with keyboardist Joe Zawinul and saxophonist Wayne Shorter, before being summarily removed on the cusp of greater commercial success. Weather Report was a decidedly electric group; Vitous' is unapologetically acoustic, and doesn't really resemble, musically, early albums including WR's remarkable self-titled, 1971 debut and '72 follow-up, I Sing the Body Electric, both on Columbia. But scratch ...

INTERVIEWS

Miroslav Vitous: It Comes Down to Taste

Read "Miroslav Vitous: It Comes Down to Taste" reviewed by Paul Olson

You can't ask for a more interesting interview subject than Miroslav Vitous, but anyone in search of self-deprecation or false modesty would be best advised to seek elsewhere. Simply put, Miroslav Vitous believes in Miroslav Vitous; he believes--no, knows--that his work is important, and he will not waste a moment pretending otherwise.That's not terribly surprising, since the 60-year-old, Czech-born bassist and composer's resume places him dead-center in some very important musical settings and movements. Vitous was playing violin ...

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Miroslav Vitous: Universal Syncopations II

Read "Universal Syncopations II" reviewed by Michael P. Gladstone

Bassist/composer Miroslav Vitous will likely be regarded in history as one of the founding members of Weather Report, staying with them until 1973. Emigrating to the United States from Czechoslovakia in 1966, Vitous worked with a wide variety of musicians and has continued to do so since returning to Europe. He has recorded fourteen albums as a leader, updating Universal Syncopations (ECM, 2003) with a second volume.

Universal Syncopations II does not bear a lot of similarity to ...

PODCAST

Miroslav Vitous: Universal Innovator

Read "Miroslav Vitous: Universal Innovator" reviewed by Jason Crane

On the new episode of The Jazz Session, Jason Crane interviews bassist Miroslav Vitous. Vitous came to the U.S. in 1966, and quickly became part of the New York jazz scene. He was a founding member of Weather Report along with Wayne Shorter and Joe Zawinul. Vitous played on the landmark trio session Now He Sings, Now He Sobs (Blue Note, 1968) with Chick Corea and Roy Haynes. Vitous's new album is Universal Syncopations II (ECM, 2007), the ...

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Miroslav Vitous: Universal Syncopations II

Read "Universal Syncopations II" reviewed by Budd Kopman

At least one underlying context of the ECM label has been to present jazz where the line between improvisation and composition/arrangement is blurred. When the improvisations are not “jazzy" as the term is commonly understood, it begins to be difficult to discern where the composition ends and the improvisation begins. This is not to say that the music demands that the listener be able to figure this out, but rather that the composer, instead of presenting a ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Miroslav Vitous: Universal Syncopations II

Read "Universal Syncopations II" reviewed by Jerry D'Souza

Miroslav Vitous is the centrifugal force of Universal Syncopations II. He composed, arranged, directed, produced, engineered and archived the music, which was recorded between November 2004 and April 2005.

Vitous uses different combinations to play his music. He moves from a trio to a quintet and, where necessary, has overdubbed orchestral parts or has multi-tracked vocals to give effect to his vision.

Orchestration courses through “Opera, on which the main proponents are Bob Mintzer (tenor saxophone), Gary Campbell (soprano saxophone), ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Miroslav Vitous: Universal Syncopations II

Read "Universal Syncopations II" reviewed by John Kelman

The integration of orchestration and improvisation can take many forms. In the case of woodwind multi-instrumentalist Tim Garland's The Mystery (Audio-b, 2007), it's about clearly delineated form, with soloists working within defined structures. For bassist Miroslav Vitous the process is more complex. Universal Syncopations II expands on the premise of Universal Syncopations (ECM, 2003), integrating real-time ensemble interaction with separately recorded orchestration.

Extensive post-production editing provides Vitous the flexibility to create compositions that are like stylistic collages while managing to ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Miroslav Vitous: Universal Syncopations

Read "Universal Syncopations" reviewed by C. Andrew Hovan

Much of the allure of producer Manfred Eicher's ECM label over the span of some three decades has been in the roster of artists who have found in the company an excellent match between the “chamber-like aesthetics of the recordings and their own muse. As such, it's no surprise that with today's smaller circle of artists on the company payroll the number of truly remarkable ECM albums as of late has been somewhat limited in number.

Universal Syncopations ...


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