208

Karel Velebny: SHQ

Jerry D'Souza By

Sign in to view read count
Karel Velebny: SHQ

Multi-instrumentalist Karel Velebny was known as the father of modern jazz in the former Czechoslovakia. Besides playing the tenor sax, bass clarinet and vibes, he was also a composer, arranger, teacher, and the leader of Studio 5: one of the leading bands in the 60's. He died in 1989.



For the most part, Velebny finds his inspiration in mainstream jazz and bop. The terrain is well defined by the approach of the band, who play with undeniable power and spirit. But he also nods towards folk idioms and free expression and in acknowledging them along with his mainstream calling, turns in an exciting, solid piece of work.



Jiri Stivin brings a pastoral air on the flute to "The Uhu Sleeps Only During the Day'" before he flips into a bop rhythm and rides high on the beat. The path has been primed for the lyrical runs of Ludek Svabensky on piano and of Velebny on the vibes, but credit Velebny with the art of arrangement; he turns the progression around, pulling in the pulse and giving Stivin room to return to the meadow before the tune evaporates into the night.



"Andulko Safarova" is a neat blend of free and chamber jazz. The mood is sublime as Stivin's flute complements Vejvoda's arco bass, and it continues to be so even when the horns enter with the melody; the musicians squeezing the unwritten into the spaces. And these come from the tenor's torquing notes, from the rustle of the piano strings and from atonality. The weave is hypnotic.



Even when the calling is more mainstream, as on "Joachim is Our Friend," the quintet spins a tight web. Stivin swings with controlled abandon on the alto saxophone and adds several delectable ideas as well as deep, hard phrases while blistering the melody. Velebny then sideswipes into the mix with Svabnesky and calms the waters on the vibes over a pliant rhythm bed.



Velebny shows how imagination and artistry make compact bedfellows. His discography is sketchy and his music is not easily available, which makes this CD one to treasure.

Track Listing: The Uhu Sleeps Only During the Day; Joachim is Our Friend; Beetles on the Head; Waldi on the Castle Steps; Andulko Safarova.

Personnel: Jiri Stivin: alto sax, flute, recorder; Karel Velebny: tenor sax, bass clarinet, vibes; Ludek Svabensky: piano; Karel Vejvoda: bass; Josef Vejvoda: drums.

Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: ESP Disk | Style: Beyond Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read Ha Noi Duo CD/LP/Track Review Ha Noi Duo
by Ian Patterson
Published: March 27, 2017
Read Like, Strange CD/LP/Track Review Like, Strange
by Geno Thackara
Published: March 27, 2017
Read Coalesce CD/LP/Track Review Coalesce
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: March 27, 2017
Read Il sistema periodico CD/LP/Track Review Il sistema periodico
by Nicola Negri
Published: March 27, 2017
Read Code Noir CD/LP/Track Review Code Noir
by James Nadal
Published: March 27, 2017
Read Welcome to Swingsville! CD/LP/Track Review Welcome to Swingsville!
by Jack Bowers
Published: March 26, 2017
Read "Tierra" CD/LP/Track Review Tierra
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: July 15, 2016
Read "Mundo" CD/LP/Track Review Mundo
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: July 30, 2016
Read "The Volume Surrounding the Task" CD/LP/Track Review The Volume Surrounding the Task
by John Eyles
Published: July 6, 2016
Read "Sunday Bolero" CD/LP/Track Review Sunday Bolero
by James Nadal
Published: June 15, 2016
Read "Free for One" CD/LP/Track Review Free for One
by Karl Ackermann
Published: May 31, 2016
Read "Everyone Is Everyone Else" CD/LP/Track Review Everyone Is Everyone Else
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 13, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

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!