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Musician

George Mraz

Born:

A native of the Czech Republic, George Mraz was born in 1944. He began his musical studies on violin at age seven and started playing jazz in high school. He attended the Prague Conservatory in 1961 studying bass violin and graduating in 1966. While studying at the Prague Conservatory Mraz was deeply moved by the Voice Of America radio broadcasts of Willis Conover, who was his connection to a vast new world of possibilities across the ocean. "The first jazz I ever heard was actually Louis Armstrong when I was about twelve years old. They had an hour of his music on one Sunday in between all these light operettas and stuff they played on the radio in the Czech republic (then Czechoslovakia)

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Article: Album Review

John Scofield: John Scofield

Read "John Scofield" reviewed by Ian Patterson


John Scofield has spent the best part of his illustrious career leading or co-leading trios and quartets, with just the occasional quintet or sextet outing. Even his only duo collaboration, Solar (Palo Alto, 1984) with John Abercrombie, expanded to a quartet with George Mraz and Peter Donald on three of the seven tracks. Yes, Scofield enjoys ...

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Article: Radio & Podcasts

Hanksgiving: A Tribute to Hank Jones, Part 1

Read "Hanksgiving: A Tribute to Hank Jones, Part 1" reviewed by Ludovico Granvassu


For our seasonal Hanksgiving show, this year we pay tribute to Hank Jones, both as a pianist and a composer, by playing music from his albums as a leader and sideman, and renditions of his music by musicians that came after him. The collaboration with Malian master musician Cheick Tidian Seck kicks off a playlist which ...

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Article: Album Review

Emil Viklický & Pavel Hrubý: Between Us

Read "Between Us" reviewed by Ian Patterson


After four decades of small ensemble recordings, veteran Czech jazz pianist Emil Viklický is developing a taste for duo albums. Following the fine duo outings Together Again (ACT Music, 2014) with George Mraz, and Moravian Romance: Live at Jazzfest Brno 2018 (Venus, 2018) with Miroslav Vitous, Viklický partners with reed player Pavel Hrubý, here on bass ...

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Article: Film Review

Buster Williams: Bass to Infinity

Read "Buster Williams: Bass to Infinity" reviewed by Victor L. Schermer


Buster Williams: Bass to Infinity Director: Adam Kahan Distributor or Film Company USA: 90 minutes Premier Date: Nov. 12, 2019 This is an exceptional jazz film that most likely would have made its way into art theaters around the world were it not that four months after its premier in ...

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Article: Album Review

Frantisek Uhlir: Story of my life

Read "Story of my life" reviewed by Edward Blanco


Recognized as one of the finest bassists in all of Europe, Czech Republic-born Frantisek Uhlir, presents Story of My Life, a self-produced personal project in celebration for turning seventy years-young in 2020. He does so in swinging fashion. The album booklet contains photographs with details of many proud moments throughout his life. An intentionally designed aspect ...

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Article: SoCal Jazz

Darek Oleszkiewicz: Rolls-Royce Groovin'

Read "Darek Oleszkiewicz: Rolls-Royce Groovin'" reviewed by Jim Worsley


Inspiring greatness has long been the two-word association with the grand luxury of Rolls-Royce. Britain's entry into automobile finery has thus become benchmark terminology. To hear bassist Darek Oleszkiewicz interact, navigate, and improvise with today's finest jazz musicians is to understand why he has been deemed the Rolls-Royce of the modern day upright. Carrying the torch ...

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Article: Interview

Richie Beirach: Indelible Memories and Thought-Provoking Reflections on a Life in Jazz, Part 2

Read "Richie Beirach: Indelible Memories and Thought-Provoking Reflections on a Life in Jazz, Part 2" reviewed by Victor L. Schermer


Part 1 | Part 2 Richie Beirach hovers somewhat mysteriously in the pantheon of the great modern jazz pianists. Some of the others in that category from his generation (coming up in the 1960s/'70s), like Herbie Hancock, Keith Jarrett, Chick Corea, and Kenny Barron have greater celebrity, but Beirach easily qualifies alongside them as ...

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Article: Interview

Richie Beirach: Indelible Memories and Thought-Provoking Reflections on a Life in Jazz, Part 1

Read "Richie Beirach: Indelible Memories and Thought-Provoking Reflections on a Life in Jazz, Part 1" reviewed by Victor L. Schermer


Part 1 | Part 2 Richie Beirach hovers somewhat mysteriously in the pantheon of the great modern jazz pianists. Some of the others in that category from his generation (coming up in the 1960s/'70s), like Herbie Hancock, Keith Jarrett, Chick Corea, and Kenny Barron have greater celebrity, but Beirach easily qualifies alongside them as ...

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Article: Album Review

Grover Washington Jr.: Sacred Kind of Love: The Columbia Recordings

Read "Sacred Kind of Love: The Columbia Recordings" reviewed by Jakob Baekgaard


When saxophonist and composer Grover Washington Jr. (1943-1999) arrived at Columbia in 1986, he was already a fully formed artist. He had released a string of strong albums and had even landed a regular smash-hit with “Just the Two Us," his collaboration with singer Bill Withers. In other words, Washington had nothing to prove and could ...


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