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ANIMAL MUSIC 005 (Barcode: 8594155996551) ~ CZECH REPUBLIC ~ Jazz

Recorded: 2006 Released: 2007

This is the fourth album as a leader by Czech Jazz bassist / composer Jaromir HonzakFind albums by this artist and his first release on the excellent Czech label Animal MusicFind albums on this label. The album was recorded by a Czech / Polish quartet which also included Czech guitarist David DoruzkaFind albums by this artist and Polish pianist Michal TokajFind albums by this artist and drummer Lukasz ZytaFind albums by this artist, both of which played with him on this album´s predecessor "Present PastFind albums with this title". Clarinetist Tomas CisteckyFind albums by this artist, flautist Lucie CisteckaFind albums by this artist and pianist Vojtech ProchazkaFind albums by this artist appear as guests. The album presents eight original compositions, all by Honzak. Seven of the tracks were recorded at the excellent Studio Tokarnia and engineered by Jan SmoczynskiFind albums by this artist, with the usual superb sound quality. The last track was recorded at the Czech Radio and features the a.m. guests.

Honzak, whom I have been watching closely since many years, proudly continues the Czech Jazz Bass tradition, established by internationally known bassists like George MrazFind albums by this artist (really Jiri MrazFind albums by this artist) and Miroslav VitousFind albums by this artist, but also less known outside of their homeland like Ludek HulanFind albums by this artist, Frantisek UhlirFind albums by this artist, Karel VejvodaFind albums by this artist, Petr KorinekFind albums by this artist and others. His beautifully round notes and chronometric pulsations are always a guarantee of a perfect rhythm section anchor in the numerous recording he took part in.

But on this album Honzak great forte are his wonderful compositions, which are beautifully woven, versatile and most importantly open enough to be stretched and explored by the quartet members, often towards unexpected directions. As a result this album is a superb ride into the unforeseen, with each track taking the listener on a new adventure. Not losing the sense of melody and coherence, the music has so much freedom and breathing space that the flexibility is endless.

Of course the leader gets fantastic support from the quartet members; Doruzka, here fourteen years younger than today, is already a bright star on the European scale, while Tokaj and Zyta, despite their relatively young age at the time were already seasoned veterans, capable of playing virtually anything. Together the quartet sounds like an organic unit and in retrospect I´d love to hear this experience repeated again.

Overall this is a brilliant album from start to finish, a perfect reflection of 21st Century European Jazz at its best. Fourteen years later it still sounds perfectly fresh and sparkling with ingenuity, like a gem it is. Absolutely not to be missed!
Updated: 14/11/2020Posted: 28/08/2020CD 1 Mini-Sleeve Recommend To A Friend

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