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JAZZ Q

Jazz Rock/Fusion • Czech Republic


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Jazz Q biography
JAZZ Q was formed in 1964 by Martin Kratochvil (piano) and Jiri Stivin (woodwinds). In their early years, they were inspired by the late 50s free jazz happening in America. By the late 60s though, after becoming familiar with the English rock scene, Kratochvil decided to go in a more electric and groove-based direction. Jiri Stivin wasn't keen on playing this style and left shortly after recording their debut LP from 1970 "Coniunctio", which was a collaboration with a severed line-up of Blue Effect, and stylistically was a mish-mash of rock, fusion and free jazz. Kratochvil completely revamped the line-up with guitarist Lubos Andrst (Framus 5, Energit), bassist Vladimir Pudranek (Energit, ETC) and drummer Michal Vrbovec. In this line-up they recorded what may be their best known album "Watchtower". Frantisek Francl replaced Andrst and the band also worked with the English singer Joan Duggan on their next LP, "Symbiosis" from 1974.

Amongst the scores of sound-alike jazz-rock bands present at the time, JAZZ Q really found their own voice, although it could be argued that later stuff was more stylistically definable. JAZZ Q was also one of the few long-lasting Czech fusion bands, being active from 1964 till 1984. In 2004 they have regrouped in a classic lineup, although Francl is substituted by Zdenek Fiser, another jazz-rock veteran from the IMPULS fame.

===Magor===

Discography:
1970 - Coniunctio (listed on this site under Modry Efekt)
1973 - Pozorovatelna (Watchtower)
1974 - Symbiosis
1976 - Elegie (Elegy)
1976 - Mini jazz klub no.5 (EP)
1978 - Zvěsti (Heralds)
1979 - Hodokvas (Feast)
1984 - Hvězdoň (Asteroid)
1991 - Live 1974-1975

Jazz Q official website

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JAZZ Q Videos (YouTube and more)


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Buy JAZZ Q Music


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MARTIN KRATOCHVIL & JAZZ Q Zvesti LP Czech Jazz-Rock/Prog Rock, 1978 US $17.99 Buy It Now 7 days
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JAZZ Q discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

JAZZ Q top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.89 | 28 ratings
Pozorovatelna (The Watch-tower)
1973
4.12 | 50 ratings
Symbiosis
1974
3.13 | 8 ratings
Album, které nikdy nevyslo
1975
4.44 | 28 ratings
Elegie (as Jazz Q Martina Kratochvila)
1976
3.50 | 16 ratings
Zvesti
1978
3.58 | 19 ratings
Hodokvas
1979
3.31 | 13 ratings
Hvezdon/Asteroid
1984
3.38 | 8 ratings
Znovu
2013
2.33 | 3 ratings
Temne Slunce
2014

JAZZ Q Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.64 | 10 ratings
1974 - 75 Live
1991

JAZZ Q Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

JAZZ Q Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.26 | 8 ratings
Martin Kratochvil and Jazz Q
2007

JAZZ Q Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

JAZZ Q Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 1974 - 75 Live by JAZZ Q album cover Live, 1991
2.64 | 10 ratings

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1974 - 75 Live
Jazz Q Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by GruvanDahlman
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Live albums are for the most part interesting. At least they can be. I rarely go for live albums. I find them to be of lesser interest than the studio output. Sometimes the live renditions can be really invigorating, as in the case of Rainbow's Live in Munich (which I reviewed the other day). In most cases though they are almost always there to complete a band's discography, if you're an avid fan.

Jazz Q is in part at puzzling band. I got to know them by way of Modry Efekt (a band I cannot stop praising) on the album Coniunctio. After that free form jazz-rock experiment they went into Pozoravatelna, which was another fusion-oriented jazz-rock album of some great worth. After that they went headlong into proper jazz-rock with all guns blazing on Symbiosis. A great album, void of the slick, sometimes noodling fusion to come on later albums. And then there's this live album. A pure, for the most part anyway, bluesy affair. Sort of weird but at the same time extremely interesting turn of events, especially when viewed hindsight.

This album has very, very little to do with prog. Actually it is not, I'd say. Well, there are jazzy playing alright and "Freedom jazz dance" is jazz-rock but for the most part, as I've stated, it is a blues album played in front of a live audience. Actually, as live albums go it's not bad. Not bad at all. The sound quality is not for audiophiles, a thing that actually increases the album's worth. It gives it that extra edge.

The performance is lively and raucious, well played and groovy in that bluesy, jazz-rock kind of way. The cover of Stevie Wonder's "Living for the city" is quite nice and "Sanctuary" is another pleasant tune. Personally I enjoy the first three tracks the most. They are kicking and lively and puts a smile on my face.

Live albums are seldom essential. Sometimes they are an excellent addition to one's collection but mostly they are not. In this case I'd say it is for collectors only BUT i still think it shows the bands attitude towards music and jazz-rock in general. As such it is interesting and in retrospect it shows a band able to cross the boundaries between jazz, rock, blues and beyond in a very competent and able manner. Not prog but still an interesting piece of musical history.

Three stars and a smiling face.

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 Symbiosis by JAZZ Q album cover Studio Album, 1974
4.12 | 50 ratings

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Symbiosis
Jazz Q Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by GruvanDahlman
Prog Reviewer

4 stars I wrote about Pozoravatelna being the best of the lot in my review of that album. Well, maybe I really should point out that though that is true, in part, Symbiosis really is my choice of album when listening to Jazz Q. Pozoravatelna and Symbiosis are the best of the lot. There! Now I have said it.

Unlike Pozoravatelna Symbiosis is graced with vocals by Joan Duggan. She sounds like a Czech Janis Joplin or Maggie Bell. Sort of hoarse and powerful. The material on Symbiosis is really jazz-rock of the old school. Gritty, lengthy and soulful. This was the first album I really delved into and it is the only album by Jazz Q I find really interesting, seeing that I am no big fan of slick, noodling fusion.

"From dark to light" is a really great track. A slow, ballady thing that transcends the usual. It is spacious and floating, flowing and really interesting. The next track, "Lost soul", is apart from "The wizard" my favorite on here. Such a heavy piece, with the electric piano thumping and stabbing those great jazzy chords over the distorted guitar. Marvellous!

Then there is "The wizard". 16 minutes of jazz-rock extravaganza. It is really a tour de force of the genre, building and transforming itself it goes from rough to smooth and back again. Really impressive piece.

I sometimes find Duggans vocals to be slightly annoying, actually, but I am able to see past that and recognize the immense quality of this album. It is tight, cohesive, progressive and inspired. I really dig it and think that, while not in my top 5 when it comes to jazz-rock, it deserves to be ranked a classic in it's genre. More people really ought to check it out.

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 Pozorovatelna (The Watch-tower) by JAZZ Q album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.89 | 28 ratings

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Pozorovatelna (The Watch-tower)
Jazz Q Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by GruvanDahlman
Prog Reviewer

3 stars I first got in touch with Jazz Q by way of Modry Efekt and their collaboration on Coniunctio (1970). That album was a sort of free form jazz-rock excursion. Not really my cup of tea but certainly interesting. My interest in Jazz Q grew over time and I got myself the CD box set for christmas. It wasn't all fun and games but there are something about them that is, however you look at it, intriguing. Their universe is of their own making, though highly inspired by contemporaries in the genres of jazz, fusion and jazz-rock.

This, their first album, is in many ways their best. It builds in some aspects on the sounds of Coniunctio, though not nearly as intense as that album. The music on Pozoravatelna is certainly more noodling and spacious, though interrupted at times (thank God) by more frantic outbursts.

The album is almost entirely instrumental, apart from some vocals added by Joan Duggan. The playing is impeccable and the sound, especially the guitar, is quite raw in a good way, as much of the early 70's jazz-rock.

I think that Pozoravatelna is a bit too heavy on the noodling and the jazz is in a too pure a form for me personally. The interesting parts are those that rock, where the band kicks and tears up a storm. That's where I start to dig it. The best song is "Trifid" which balances their jazzy side with rock wonderfully.

All in all I'd say that this album, along their next, is the best of the lot. Their fusiony style got too slick and noodling for my taste in the years to come, leaving much of the raw elements aside. Too bad, really. On the other hand, if you are into fusion I think Jazz Q has a lot to offer. Highly skilled and competent they do produce top notch fusion. I guess it is just not for me. My rating will be three stars and that is by my personal taste. If you like fusion, I guess you could rate it four.

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 Martin Kratochvil and Jazz Q by JAZZ Q album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2007
3.26 | 8 ratings

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Martin Kratochvil and Jazz Q
Jazz Q Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by GruvanDahlman
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Falling in love with Modry Efekt, I stumbled across Jazz Q aswell. I found it hard getting my hands on any of their albums in Sweden, so I bided my time. When I finally found this box set for sale in my favorite record store I could not help myself and bought it on a whim, not really sure what I was purchasing. My only experience with the group was by way of Coniunctio, the album made alongside Modry Efekt. What did I find? Not all that I was prepared for.

As with their fellow country men in Modry Efekt the band changes direction throughout their recording career. Maybe not to the same extent as Modry Efekt but they do progress.

The first two albums are the best. The music displays a great fusion between rock, prog and jazz. The first album, Pozorovatelna, is quite something. Great jazz-rock with a slight free form feeling. The second album follows in the jazz-rock vein, though less free in it's form. I guess that is the album I prefer the most.

After the first two albums they ride straight into the land of Fusion and the further they ride the more slick and fusionish they become. Now, I don't mind fusion but I find that the genre at times get too meandering and pointless. Well executed but there's not much going on. Maybe that is a harsh judgement. Still, I think it is true, at least as far as Jazz Q is concerned. Elegie is a great album in many ways but the later ones are just a bit too clean and fusion-y for my taste.

Is this a relevant box? Well, I don't know. The Modry Efekt box is essential, I think. I will never give that up. I like the Jazz Q box, for sure. It is interesting and the progress is worth a listen. I would not, however, recommend someone to buy this box unless you are seriously into fusion. The first two or three albums are well worth having but on a personal level I would not have bought the fusion-ridden later ones. That is not to say that they are bad. Thet are, in fact, extremely well played and executed, just not that exciting.

All in all, an interesting box but not essential in the least.

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 Symbiosis by JAZZ Q album cover Studio Album, 1974
4.12 | 50 ratings

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Symbiosis
Jazz Q Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Jazz Q here play jazz fusion with more influence from blues and classic jazz atmospheres than many of the other fusion acts of the era. The cover art suggests a clique of cool beatniks transposed to 1970s Prague, and that's exactly what you get here. With a large group of musicians joining the jam, the album has a rich sound which is unique and distinct to Jazz Q, and which also demonstrates that despite the Cold War they'd been keeping up with the latest developments in the genre. The epic-length The Wizard is a marvellous composition to lose oneself in and on the whole this album really puts Prague on the 1970s fusion map, though some of the experiments on here are somewhat more tentative and less successful than The Wizard and as a result the album is not as consistently strong as it might be.

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 Zvesti by JAZZ Q album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.50 | 16 ratings

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Zvesti
Jazz Q Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Joćo Paulo

4 stars Beautifull album from seventies decade. This album alternates tracks very calm and relaxing and some Jazz improvisations with guitar and electric piano. Some string sound for a space parts but the improvisatios are very good played. We can listen in 8 tracks a good and relaxing Jazz and Space Rock music made by a band of East Europe band who has given a lot of credit for previous albums. The only problem is the spacey parts that some consider boring but to me, it's the union of Rock and Jazz music because Jazz was tolerated and the rock was not. For example, the guitar has parts of Jazz improvisations and parts very melodic typical of symphonic Rock music. This album is very melodic and very beautiful. I give 4 stars

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 Symbiosis by JAZZ Q album cover Studio Album, 1974
4.12 | 50 ratings

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Symbiosis
Jazz Q Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Joan Duggan who guested on vocals on a single track only on JAZZ Q's debut is back and taking a much more prominant role on this their second album.

"From Dark To Light" is very laid back and reserved vocals come in around 1 1/2 minutes. During one section after 3 minutes she almost speaks the words then it's back to the reserved singing. "Lost Soul" is a slow to mid-paced tune with a fairly heavy sound with the guitar contributing a lot to that. Vocals join in before a minute then we get a guitar solo before 2 minutes until around 3 minutes when the vocals return. Electric piano after 4 minutes as the vocals stop but the guitar continues. "Starbird" is laid back like the opener with vocals. It's fuller after 2 minutes but it settles back again. The guitar replaces the vocals after 3 1/2 minutes then the electric piano leads. Vocals are back after 5 minutes. It picks up during the final minute to a jazzy mode with vocal melodies.

"The Wizard" is by far my favourite and it's not because it's 16 1/2 minutes long either. It picks up 1 1/2 minutes in and the vocals join in. This is great ! Electric piano and vocals are most excellent here. Guitar comes in after 7 minutes and leads as the vocals stop. A calm follows where bass and sparse piano take over including a bass solo. It kicks back in after 10 1/2 minutes with vocals. Some passion here then the guitar solos before 12 1/2 minutes when the vocals stop. Vocal melodies 14 minutes in as the guitar continues to solo. Vocals are back after 14 1/2 minutes. What a song ! "Epilogue" ends it and it's a somewhat spacey instrumental.

I would rate this in my top three of favourite JAZZ Q albums along with the debut and "Elegie". Now that's not counting the album they did with BLUE EFFECT in 1970 which is my favourite one that they have been a part of.

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 Pozorovatelna (The Watch-tower) by JAZZ Q album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.89 | 28 ratings

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Pozorovatelna (The Watch-tower)
Jazz Q Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars The first time JAZZ Q came on the scene recording-wise was with BLUE EFFECT and a record they did together called "Coniunctio" which was a wild affair, very avant. Back then in 1970 they were called JAZZ Q PRAHA and they had a completely different lineup except for the keyboardist. So here we are in 1973 and their true debut called "Pozorovatelna". This is an album i'd call a slow burner. They just don't break out that often even though I keep waiting for that to happen. The bass is very growly and we get some excellent drumming along with guitar and electric piano. Often we get this atmospheric and laid back sound that has this underlying intensity just under the surface, but rarely does it break out.

"Pori" has this drum intro which is followed by a calm then the beast starts to rise up before 2 minutes. Another calm then it starts to build before 4 minutes once again. It settles though and the guitar here reminds me of Fripp. Another calm 5 minutes in then this growly bass comes in followed by drums and guitar as the latter starts to light it up. Killer section as the beast is up. Keyboards replace the guitar after 8 minutes then we get another calm before 10 minutes. It's building before 11 minutes. What a song ! "Pozorovatelna" opens with growly bass, electric piano and drums and it's fairly laid back. Guitar before 1 1/2 minutes and it's relaxed. The bass is really growly after 4 minutes but the song continues to stay in check.

"Trifid" has this catchy but laid back start with electric piano, bass and drums. Guitar before 4 1/2 minutes and it's tasteful, although he will start to rip it up before 6 minutes. Guest female vocals before 7 1/2 minutes once the guitar stops. "Klobasove Hody" has these deep and growly bass lines to start then the drums and electric piano join in. The sound picks up, then it picks up even more 3 minutes in with the guitar leading the way and at times being aggressive. It settles back late to end it. "Kartgo" is kind of haunting with bass. Guest violin and sparse piano join in. It's still dark and atmospheric. It starts to pick up 3 1/2 minutes in to end it.

The guest female vocalist on the song "Trifid" is Joan Duggan and she would be front and center on their next album called "Symbiosis". A solid 4 stars and I must admit that if this had more powerful sections to go with the laid back ones this would be 4.5 to 5 stars. Still this is an easy one to recommend.

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 Martin Kratochvil and Jazz Q by JAZZ Q album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2007
3.26 | 8 ratings

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Martin Kratochvil and Jazz Q
Jazz Q Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars There are usually two reasons for me to get a band's box-set. First i'm a huge fan and the music has been improved upon sonically (remastered or re-mixed) or secondly the albums are out of print and buying the box-set is the only way for me to get those now rare records. I think i've only bought one box-set for the first reason (GENESIS) while the others I have were to get difficult to find music. JAZZ Q's albums are very difficult to track down so I am thankful to get my hands on this. The three star rating is because of the eight discs I rate only three of them above 3 stars and it was the first two albums in particular that I was lusting after.

I'm going to review the final disc in the set which is titled "Rare Tracks" or "Bonusy" and can be only found in this set.

I would rate this particular disc at three stars simply because it is a mixed bag. "Blues Stary Zensky" is bluesy with horns. Male vocals replace the horns after a minute. Not bad. "Zly Sen" is a top three with the keyboards, percussion and female vocals standing out. This is quite jazzy. "Jsem Sva" is uptempo with female vocals. A snappy little number. "Ovci Vina" has female vocal melodies and a dreamy sound. Guitar and a Rock sound after 1 1/2 minutes. Some crazy vocal expressions come and go. It ends like it began. "Blues Holky Na Vdavani" opens with piano as almost spoken female vocals join in. It's fuller before 2 minutes. Bluesy stuff. "Velky Bohem" is a top three and it has lots of percussion like SANTANA, then male vocals come in with guitar. I like the electric piano after 3 minutes. "Prazske Boogie" is male vocals with a catchy sound.

"Zatmeni Mesice" is laid back as male vocals come in. It's fairly intense 3 1/2 minutes in. "Blues Podzimniho Odpoledne" is mellow with reserved vocals and some bluesy guitar. "Obohodnik A Destem" builds with clapping and more. It's okay. "What A Way To Start" is short and cute. "Why Do I Have To Move" has synths a beat and vocals. "Konstelace" is my final top three. Horns and drama with intricate drumming. Electric piano comes in as well. Nice. "Witness To The World" is surprisingly a gospel song with harmonies. This is fun and very well done. Female vocals preach the word. "Goodbye !" ends it with about a nine minute uptempo instrumental. I like it !

I don't have a lot of box-sets, in fact not many at all. I can't justify buying box-sets of music I already own even if it's well packaged with lots of good info. This is a must for JAZZ Q fans and i'm sure i'll be the only one not to give this 4 or 5 stars.

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 Elegie  (as Jazz Q Martina Kratochvila) by JAZZ Q album cover Studio Album, 1976
4.44 | 28 ratings

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Elegie (as Jazz Q Martina Kratochvila)
Jazz Q Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars I have been going backwards through JAZZ Q's discography and this is the best and most consistant one so far. Many of the tracks here blend into on another as well.

"Slunovrat" reminds me of Herbie Hancock and it's kind of funky with prominant synths. The tempo shifts a lot and we get some good guitar late. A good song but my least favourite of the bunch. "Nadeje" opens with atmosphere and a calm as gentle guitar, a beat and violin come in. It's stiil laid back. When the violin stops the trumpet starts to lead, then the trumpet stops and melancholic synths lead. More relaxed trumpet leading before 4 1/2 minutes then it's the electric piano's turn late. Great sounding tune. "Citadela" kicks in right away and I love the drum work. It turns atmospheric. "Tanec" has some excellent sounding bass, drums and piano early on. The synths wash in then we get some incredible sounding guitar lighting it up. Electric piano then leads before the guitar returns to end it.

"Letavice" is melancholic with synths. Some laid back harmonica after 1 1/2 minutes and then before 4 minutes. "Toledo" is my favourite. This reminds me of MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA the way the guitar, keyboards and drums create fire. It settles before 1 1/2 minutes then builds. Another calm before 4 minutes then it builds again. Love the guitar and also the keys late. "Zrava Dama" like the first track has some in your face synths. This is powerful and punchy. A calm before 2 minutes as it changes with percussion and other intricate sounds. Guitar after 2 1/2 minutes then it kicks in with synths after 4 minutes as the opening section of this song is reprised. "Vestba" is the short concluding tune consisting of piano and violin.

An easy 4 stars for this one. I'm really impressed with this one.

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