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WIZARD - Various Artists   CAT. NO: CS-08
Rare Jazz/Fusion Gems From Czechoslovakian Vaults vol. 2
£8.50 + VAT

£8.50 + VAT

SHQ - "Cubano Chant"  (Ray Bryant) 
Joachim Kuhn - p, Zdenek Pulec - tbn, Rudolf Dasek - g,
Jan Konopasek - fl, Laco Tropp -ds.
What to say? It's a classic. And just when you think you've heard all the versions here is another one with Velebny's SHQ and friends giving us true Cuban spirit recreated in Czechoslovakia in mid 60's. Hard Jazz dance. Should I say the best version so far? Judge by yourself.
JAZZ CELULA - "Ohen, Az Pozar"  (Laco Deci) 
Very original percussion intro develops into Spanish style Jazz with strong danceable rhythm driving all the way through.
MILAN SVOBODA - "Wait For Me" (M. Svoboda) 
Milan Svoboda & Prague Big Band with guests: Jiri Stivin, Jindrich Nemecek-as; Vladimir Tymich, Petr Kodi-ts; Jiri Tomek-conga. 
Soloists: Jaroslav Solc-fl; Emil Viklicky-p
The track that I haven't noticed in the beginig and one day it just struck me, especially flute and keyboard solos so I had to play it again and again. Very seductive main theme. Soft, rolling Fusion.
KAMIL HALA - "Dew Drop" (Kamil Hala) 
Jazz Orchestra of Czechoslovakian Radio cond.  Kamil Hala
After 1.5 min of mellow ballad intro band starts firing up. Big Band Fusion at it's best. Rather smooth melancholic but powerful sound of Laco Deci's trumpet tells a beautiful story while the solid big band section keeps the rhythm rolling. All big names are here :Laco Deci, Karel Ruzicka, Josef Vejvoda,Petr Kral, Jiri Tomek and many more.
GUSTAV BROM ORCHESTRA  "Dance For Two"   (Josef Audeus)
Same as many other Eastern European tracks this one has a tripy spiritual intro. Shortly it develops into solid rhythm Jazz with a funky bass line, "Shaft" style wah-wah guitar and catchy main theme on sax. Sax then goes into solo supported by powerful big band section. And as the title say, it's a perfect for dancing. 
JAZZ Q   "Wizard" (M. Kratochvil)
This was the first ever Czechoslovakian track that I heard being played in London's clubs and on radio. This is part two from a 16 min track. Fireing Fusion with strong West Coast influence. I am sure you've heard it before. Classic!
JAZZ Q  "Presage" (M. Kratochvil)
Another killer tune by JAZZ Q with the excellent vocals. I guess it never got enough exposure in Jazz circles because of the rock guitar solo in the first part of the track but the second part deserves everyone's atention.
GUSTAV BROM ORCHESTRA   "Memory" (S. Shterev) 
Smooth spiritual ballad with Simeon Shterev on flute and solid rhythm section tells a beautiful story that develops into hard Jazz Fusion and then smoothes again. Mystic and hypnotic atmosphere. Makes you float away.
01 SHQ - Cubano Chant
02 JAZZ CELULA - Fire, Even Blaze!  6:43
03 MILAN SVOBODA - Wait For Me  5:00
04 KAMIL HALA - Dew Drop
JAZZ Q - Wizard  6:11
JAZZ Q - Presage 5:28


 Ennio Styles  - Australia (Revolver Club/ RRR FM /
With the latest instalment 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

ECHOES magazine (April 2001, page 39) Elia Rulli
Volume 2 takes it's name from an amazing competition care of a collective called Jazz Q. Wizard is a kind of jazz-rock fusion with enough energy to power half of London. Amazing.

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