|Rare Gems From the Czechoslovakian Vaults, Vol. 2 - 12" Vinyl Edition
SHQ: "Cubano Chant"
Jazz Celula "Fire, Even Blaze!"
Ennio Styles - Australia (Revolver Club/ RRR FM / modalforces.com)
With the latest installment in the "Discoveries From the East" compilation series, selector and label boss Zeljko Kerleta again demonstrates an ear and a feeling for jazz which extends way beyond just the obvious hammond funk stompers. This was just as evident with his own music on the superb "Space Runner" album and you can hear in "Wizard" the connections and the influence which he carries through into his own productions. There's even a track here from Jazz Celula, who supplied sampler food for Kerleta's "From Island to Island". For me the real killer on this album is a hot mid-60s version of "Cubano Chant" by SHQ (who also appeared on volume 1) - jazz dance heaven. There's some nice mellow fusion cuts, of which Milan Svoboda's pretty "Wait For Me" is another highlight. And if you haven't yet heard Jazz Q's storming "Wizard" (aka "Carodej"), you're in for a real treat. My only quibble is that a couple of the harder fusion selections feature rock guitar solos which for my taste could have done with the re-ed it treatment. Interestingly, Kerleta translates the track titles into English, but it's certainly not an attempt to thwart eager collectors chasing the originals, since he's kind enough to give the original album titles and even catalog numbers. Between JCR and Cosmic Sounds, rare groovers and jazz lovers a getting a superb insight into the deep and unique Eastern European jazz scenes of the 20th century. I, for one, am grateful. Ennio Styles.
Dusty Groove Chicago
Excellent funky jazz work from Eastern Europe -- very much in the spirit of recent compilations on the Jazzanova label, or similar sets on Cosmic Sounds. The album collects sublime material from the vaults of Supraphon, a hip Czech label that cut records so cool they're beyond description. The 8 tunes on the set are a mixture of Latin jazz, big band grooves, and funky electric fusion -- but they all share a wonderfully fresh approach to arrangements, with modal bits hitting straighter jazz bits hitting choppy rhythmic grooving, in a blend so cool it'll have you digging through record shops for all things Czech. There's a lot of similar styles to some of the best 70s MPS work on the record -- and you can also hear the influence of the music on some of the current European groove scene