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Bohemia - Zrnko písku CD (album) cover




Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.99 | 43 ratings

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Rock Progressivo Italiano!
4 stars "Certainly one of the top prog albums to ever come from Eastern Europe."

So writes Greg Walker, and certainly based on my limited experience I won't argue. Though this album doesn't reach the emotional heights of INDEXI'S "Modra Rijeka," this certainly is top tier jazz rock/fusion that belongs in the collection of any fan of the genre, or any fan of Eastern European prog for that matter.

In the bio, we read that Bohemia represents "a supergroup formed by the cream of the crop Czech prog and fusion musicians." And certainly the musicianship and writing reflect that. The songs of the album proper demonstrate very memorable, melodic lines which serve as the basis for some great soloing. My favorite solos tend to come from Jan Kubik, who plays sax, clarinet and flute. He's a real asset to the band, giving great tonal variety and texture to the well written songs. The rhythm section of Vladimir Kulhanek and Pavel Trnavsky is also fabulous--a wonderful anchor, which is essential to great fusion. Keyboardist Lesek Semelka and guitarist Michal Pavlicek are excellent as well. Semelka also provides the lead vocals, which I find very appealing--a bit raw, but very satisfying.

As for the album, the 2008 version I have comes with some commentary in a language that unfortunately I don't understand. The album proper consists of the first five songs, which are the best of the bunch. The six bonus tracks are of lesser quality than the originals, but are better than most bonus tracks. "U Stadanky" particularly stands out for me, a pastoral jazz track with excellent flute and acoustic guitar. Of the album tracks, the first two stand out as excellent examples of jazz rock/fusion, adding an Eastern European flavor that makes it that much sweeter.

Overall, an excellent album, one that can easily find its way into your heart once it finds its way into your collection. I'm going to give 4 stars, but it's actually 4.5.

Todd | 4/5 |


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