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Mellotron Storm
5 stars Here's a band from the Czech Republic that promptly blew my head off. They originally arose from the ashes of FLAMENGO with the drummer and vocalist of that band joining forces with JAZZ Q's guitarist and bass player. The Communist government quickly banned the group citing the lyrics as being too provocative. They were pretty much playing Hard Rock at this time. So the band sort of imploded with ex-JAZZ Q guitarist Lubos Andrst keeping it alive by hiring Jazz players to fill out the new lineup. This is their first studio album and it's very much a MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA styled recording but with sax instead of violin. I have to say that the electric piano and guitar work is beyond incredible on this album.

I'm using the English song titles. "Morning Part I" is the opening side long suite. Outbursts of sound come and go then percussion only as drums then electric piano join in. Yes we have a drummer and a percussionist (congas) the latter brings SANTANA's music to mind at times. Deep bass lines come to the fore then sax. The guitar after 2 minutes starts to light it up. Sax replaces the guitar around 4 minutes and he's now ripping it up after 5 minutes. Electric piano and percussion also standout here. A calm before 7 1/2 minutes then percussion, electric piano and bass take over. The guitar joins in and eventually comes to the fore after 10 1/2 minutes and proceeds to light it up. It settles right down after 14 1/2 minutes then turns powerful again a minute later with sax playing over top. So freaking good.

"The Early Sunday" sounds great with electric piano, drums and bass leading the way as the sax joins in. "Night-Butterfly" opens with atmosphere as sparse sounds come and go. A change 2 1/2 minutes in as it turns powerful with bass and drums as the electric piano plays over top. The guitar starts to solo 4 1/2 minutes in. it settles back to that intro soundscape before 6 1/2 minutes right to the end. "Apotheosis" features guitar, electric piano, drums and synths throughout. "Morning Part II" is a great way to end the album reprising the opening track. This of course is a much shorter version. Percussion only ends it.

I have to give this 5 stars. So powerful and the guitar and electric piano are intoxicating to say the least.

Report this review (#786261)
Posted Tuesday, July 10, 2012 | Review Permalink
5 stars I know why a lot of excellent jazz-rock fusion grows (or used to grow) in the United States; because this country is the birthplace of jazz and rock, so they just fused together.

I have sampled quite a few non-US albums that purported to be "fusion", and (no names named for the sake of peace), well, they either weren't good enough, or weren't jazz-rock fusion enough. Venezuela .. Brazil .. Hungary ..the UK ... France .. Italy .. Norway .. things just didn't seem to be "fusing" properly in these otherwise lovely places. I couldn't even consider John McLaughlin and Jean-Luc Ponty as "British" and "French" respectively, because they were living and working in the US when they did what they did best in their careers.

With the notable exception of the German United Jazz-Rock Ensemble, and the Russian band Arsenal (to a limited degree), perhaps.

The Czechoslovakia of the 70s was a standalone phenomenon in this respect. Somehow the country the size of Pennsylvania, tucked away behind the Iron Curtain produced 3 world class fusion bands: Energit, Modry Efekt and Jazz-Q within a short period of time.

Energit's Energit is probably my favorite title of all the albums, produced by the said 3 bands in that period. I would be struggling to adequately describe its "features and benefits", but would certainly recommend that everI

With its Inventive and, frankly, refreshing melody lines, highest level musicianship and the contagious upbeat mood Energit could give a head start to just about any of the internationally revered fusion bands.

The best feature of Energit is the smile that it leaves on your face .. I would recommend that you consider treateing yourself to your own copy of Energit!

Report this review (#858268)
Posted Tuesday, November 13, 2012 | Review Permalink
3 stars Take the Mahavishnu Orchestra sound from The Inner Mounting Flame, remove the violin and put a mean sax in its place: that's what the Energit sound amounts to on their self-titled debut album. Are they a clone band here? Well, maybe, maybe not, different people draw the line different places on that score - but what I can say is that just as band leader Lubos Andrst is able pull off an uncannily accurate take on John McLaughlin's guitar tone, the band as a whole manage to match early Mahavishnu in terms of style and compositon for much of this album, right down to the similar mix of louder, volcanic excursions and quieter, more peaceful pieces.

If you desperately wish the original Mahavishnu lineup had made another album or two, you could do a lot worse than investigating this, though at the same time I don't think Energit build much that is novel on the borrowed foundations they are working with.

Report this review (#1057925)
Posted Thursday, October 10, 2013 | Review Permalink

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