Make a difference: Support jazz online

Support All About Jazz Your friends at All About Jazz are looking for readers to help back our website upgrade project. Of critical importance, this project will result in a vastly improved design across all devices and will make future All About Jazz projects much easier to implement. Click here to learn more about this project including donation rewards.

124

Robert Balzar Trio: Travelling

Glenn Astarita By

Sign in to view read count
The Czech Republic can boast about their well-documented representation of accomplished bass players (Miroslav Vitous, George Mraz) within the International jazz community. Here, Czech bassist Robert Balzar along with fellow countrymen pianist Stanislav Macha and drummer Marek Patrman pianist perform as a Trio. In 1998, Travelling was touted by many, as the best jazz album emanating from the Czech Republic. We won’t or could not argue that point here but based on its merits, Travelling is a very fine piece of work which most assuredly deserves some widespread recognition.

The opener, “The Patriot” tips the listener off as these musicians can swing in harmonious fashion, while keeping in mind the classic piano trio format. Here, these gents perform a cool and sleek mid-tempo swing, which from the onset rekindles memories of the Junior Mance Trio. Balzar is a strong bandleader or within this format a darn good traffic cop. Mr. Balzar possesses a fleet-fingered attack on his deep, resonant sounding acoustic bass; however, Balzar most always maintains the rich melodies, which are resident throughout most of these pieces. “Thanks To Isidor” is an upbeat Bop style composition as Balzar turns in a straight up and groovin’ bass solo. On many of these pieces, Balzar and the fine pianist Stanislav Macha up the ante with harmonically rich themes stated in unison. The title track, “Travelling” is 10 minutes in length and the highlight of this recording. A gorgeously affable melody featuring lyrically rich, textural soloing from Macha, charming bass work by Balzar and a particularly inventive drum solo from Marek Patrman make “Travelling” an extremely engaging listen. The key here is the bouncy melody and deterministic straight four beat which at times emits the feel and aura of a Military March yet less austere than one would surmise. Additional highlights are Macha’s delicate and passionate single note leads on the piece titled, “B.E.” also featuring a joyful melody (Balzar is a fine composer) and Balzar’s adept bowed-bass work on the finger-snapping, “Willy Nilly”.

Travelling is fun, amiable and demonstrates Balzar’s fine bass technique along with focused and communal support from an obviously pumped-up rhythm section. If marketed correctly here in the States, Travelling would most certainly enjoy some radio airplay and generate some excitement. * * * *

All compositions by Robert Balzar

Web: www.jazzpages.com/jazzpointrecords


Title: Travelling | Year Released: 1999 | Record Label: Jazzpoint Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Not Nearly Enough To Buy A House CD/LP/Track Review Not Nearly Enough To Buy A House
by Mark Sullivan
Published: January 21, 2018
Read Journey to a New World CD/LP/Track Review Journey to a New World
by Troy Dostert
Published: January 21, 2018
Read Disappeared Behind the Sun CD/LP/Track Review Disappeared Behind the Sun
by John Sharpe
Published: January 21, 2018
Read 2018 Neujahrskonzert New Year’s Concert CD/LP/Track Review 2018 Neujahrskonzert New Year’s Concert
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: January 21, 2018
Read Lux CD/LP/Track Review Lux
by Karl Ackermann
Published: January 20, 2018
Read Unleashed CD/LP/Track Review Unleashed
by John Sharpe
Published: January 20, 2018
Read "Bethany Project" CD/LP/Track Review Bethany Project
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: November 11, 2017
Read "New Life" CD/LP/Track Review New Life
by Geno Thackara
Published: May 25, 2017
Read "Glenn Gould in Russia: Bach, Beethoven, Berg, Webern, Krenek" CD/LP/Track Review Glenn Gould in Russia: Bach, Beethoven, Berg, Webern, Krenek
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: September 16, 2017
Read "Lattice" CD/LP/Track Review Lattice
by John Sharpe
Published: December 14, 2017
Read "The Wishing Stones" CD/LP/Track Review The Wishing Stones
by Friedrich Kunzmann
Published: January 13, 2018
Read "Pathways" CD/LP/Track Review Pathways
by Jerome Wilson
Published: May 30, 2017