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NOCZ & IVA BITTOVA ~ NOCZ & IVA BITTOVA
HEVHETIA 0086 (Barcode: 8588005257275) ~ CZECH REPUBLIC ~ Jazz

Recorded: 2014 Released: 2014

This is the second album by the NoczFind albums by this artist quartet, which comprises of Norwegian trumpeter Didrik IngvaldsenFind albums by this artist and Czech musicians: saxophonist Radim HanousekFind albums by this artist, bassist Marian FriedlFind albums by this artist and drummer Vaclav PalkaFind albums by this artist. On this album they are joined by Czech violinist / vocalist Iva BittovaFind albums by this artist, who participates on nine of the fourteen tracks present herein. All the music is original; Ingvaldsen composed eleven compositions, Hanousek two and one is a collective composition by the ensemble.

The music is a fiery version of modern Jazz mixed with free improvised passages and World Music influences. Some of the pieces are distinctly more melodic than others, but overall the music stays pretty well organized and structured while at the same time it is freely spirited and very imaginative. The level of the individual performances is superb from start to finish and the album truly presents unconventional contemporary Jazz at its best. The trumpet / saxophone front end of the quartet brings on fond memories of the early days of avant-garde Jazz, especially Don CherryFind albums by this artist´s contributions, but the ambiance is undoubtedly updated to some extent. The rhythm section is also absolutely first class, keeping the pulse of the music flowing and at the same time contribution also some incredible solo parts.

The presence of Bittova adds a wonderful new dimension to the quartet´s sound and her vocalese passages are among the album´s highlights, although the entire proceedings deserve only the highest praise. This album is a great example of the maturity of European Jazz, which keeps evolving more dramatically than ever thanks to the removal of national borders, enabling the emergence of international ensembles, such as this one.

Overall this is an excellent modern Jazz album in every respect, surprising, moving and engaging, which will make every fan of nontrivial, advanced, open-minded Jazz extremely happy. Listening to this music is a true delight from start to finish!
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