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Jazz Q - Elegie (as Jazz Q Martina Kratochvila) CD (album) cover


Jazz Q


Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.09 | 45 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars Funky fusion, eh? The label seems quite apt. So is the comparisons to Herbie Hancock and Weather Report. It is fascinating to hear music from beyond the Iron Curtain that is so extremely well played and passionate. You have to give Jazz Q that. At least. I suppose one is proned to believing that no music from the western hemisphere entered the airspace of the East, leaving this a barren wasteland, at least as far as prog is concerned. That is such a misconception. Many great bands emerged, despite the pressure of the communist state and their fear of the West. Jazz Q is certainly one of those bold, skilled and highly talented musicians but is the music any good? One can be a splendid pianist but still creating rubbish. Well, no this is not rubbish. It suffers, though, from what I perceive as being fusion droning. If you are a true fusion lover I guess you would disagree but there you go.

The greatest thing about this album is the feeling of completion. By that I mean the sense of wholeness, that the music is bound together as a complete suite. The songs may differ from each other but together they form a tapestry and that to me is grand stuff. The problem, on the other hand, is that while the music is very pleasant, atmospheric and well played, it becomes more of a background soundtrack to the day. That is not bad in itsekf but few songs stick out making me go "Ooh, here's that one!" And that is a pity, I think.

When I first ventured into this album I found the first track to be outright silly. I found the riff childish and had trouble getting past that. Now I have risen from the ashes and actually like it. It is a great opener and shows clearly what this band is all about. They are a competent bunch of eager musicians. My favorite song is "Zrava dama" which sticks out in the crowd. With it's great keyboard riff and the guitar on top, it gets my blood flowing. It is a song which showcases their ability to throw themselves between hard fusion and the most delicate jazziness. A fine song, that is.

As a whole I have to confess I enjoy but I do not love it. It is one of those albums I play every now and then and find enjoyable, perfectly suited for an evening at home, reading or just relaxing. The problem for me, as I have mentioned, is the fusion in itself. I have a hard time swallowing it's neat overcoat. I have the same problem with Weather Report and others in the same league. It gets too clean. I need dirt and the Devil may care attitude found in jazz-rock of the late 60's and early 70's. While this music is flawless and extremely talented it lacks some emotion. I think there is plenty of heart in here, that is not the problem. It borders on sterile and that is not for me.

So, if you are heavily into fusion I would say that this could be your cup of tea and I belive you would do well to check it out. If you're not, I'd say you might aswell look the other way. I find the rating hard. As a fusion album it's bound to be good but my heart is not really moved. So, therefore I will rate it three stars. Good but non-essential. As it were.

GruvanDahlman | 3/5 |


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