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MAHAGON

Jazz Rock/Fusion • Czech Republic


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Mahagon biography
MAXAGON started life as a folk duo in the early 70s, founded by Petr Klapka and Jan Hala. Soon enough their musical direction changed towards funk-rock similar to Chicago and the line-up expanded to include brass and woodwind instruments. In 1976, Klapka's wife, Zdena Adamova (ex-C&K Vocal) joined them, at which point the band started flirting with pop, as evidenced on their singles at the time. However their self-titled debut LP from 1978 was vintage fusion, with some funky leanings as well. The compositions themselves suggest early Return to Forever, an influence amplified by similar instrumentation that is dominated by rhodes, flute and female vocals. A second album entitled "Slunecnice pro Vincenta van Gogha" (Sunflowers for Vincent Van Gogh) followed in 1980, though this one was leaning towards the pop side of things. In 1981, Klapka and Adamova emigrated to the U.S., leaving the project in dust.

===Magor===

Discography:
1978 - Mahagon
1980 - Slunecnice pro Vincenta van Gogha

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MAHAGON discography


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

3.75 | 15 ratings
Mahagon
1978
2.57 | 11 ratings
Slunecnice pro Vincenta van Gogha
1980

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MAHAGON Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Mahagon by MAHAGON album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.75 | 15 ratings

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Mahagon
Mahagon Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Of note i'm reviewing the 39 minute studio album only, not any of the commercial sounding bonus tracks which brought to mind their second album which I didn't like. This debut from the Czech band MAHAGON is simply a tour de force. The horns (trumpet, sax, clarinet) violin, clavinet, fender rhodes, synths, strings, guitar, female vocal melodies and more are a feast for the ears. There is funky groove at times and I was reminded of Hancock several times. Just a joy to hear this really.

"Dny, Mesce A Roky" opens with a scream that would make your hair stand straight up. A jazzy soundscape takes over and it's uptempo with sax, trumpet, violin and synths kicking ass. "More Klidu" opens with vocal melodies in a dreamy soundscape. It changes after 2 minutes with chunky bass and synths coming to the fore. Flute and vocal melodies join in. Nice. A calm ends it. "Clovek Kybernet" is funky with horns blasting. The guitar before 2 minutes starts to light it up then sax takes over. The music stops as we can hear what sounds like traffic going by then it kicks in again. This is awesome ! "Sen O Zemi" is a short piece with vocal melodies and lots of atmosphere. "Oci Nevidomch Zrcadel" reminds me of MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA as we get this tension that you keep thinking will explode any second but it doesn't. Violin comes in as well.

"Pisecn Presypy" has these intricate sounds coming and going. So much going on here in this uptempo track. Electric piano too as Hancock comes to mind. Fantastic song ! "Pulnocni" opens with atmosphere as vocal melodies join in. It kicks in before 2 1/2 minutes. Yeah it does ! It settles back for the final minute sounding just like the intro. "Dvka S Jablke" has some huge bass lines as a funky groove kicks in with vocal melodies. "Obrazma" is fun with the horns blasting and that funky rhythm, A calm 3 1/2 minutes in with vocal melodies then violin.

This has been a pleasure, so much so i've burned it on a cdr minus the bonus tracks.

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 Slunecnice pro Vincenta van Gogha by MAHAGON album cover Studio Album, 1980
2.57 | 11 ratings

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Slunecnice pro Vincenta van Gogha
Mahagon Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

2 stars Czech band MAHAGON's second album is a huge letdown after their excellent debut. The JRF stylings are scaled way back as the focus becomes the female vocals and a more commercial sound.

The first track "Slunecnice Pro Vincenta Van Gogh I" opens with atmosphere and vocal melodies before reserved vocals and piano take over a minute in. It does get fuller but i'm not liking this. "Prameny Poznani" is my favourite and really the only track that recalls the debut. This is funky Fusion with lots of horns. Some crazy synths and electric piano also join in. This is excellent. "Stranky Deniku Pod Rolakem" is my least favourite with those reserved vocals and ballad-like vibe. Yikes ! "Vila Za Milion" is uptempo with vocals. Not a fan. "Valka Salku" has horns and is a little funky but when the vocals come in they lose me.

"Cinkni Minci" is uptempo with vocals. Lots of horns too. "Dopis Marii, Pavlovi O Octi" is one i like with those guitar expressions and atmosphere. "Plateny Sen" has piano and vocals before the violin comes in. Not a fan. "A Kamen Tu Necham" has lots of horns, synths and vocals. "Slunecnice Pro Vincenta Van Gogha II" is good with the atmosphere and spoken words as sounds come and go. "Slunecnice Pro Vincenta Van Gogha III" ends the album with an uptempo soundcape and vocals. It turns mellow after 4 minutes.

Just not a fan of this one at all.

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 Mahagon by MAHAGON album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.75 | 15 ratings

BUY
Mahagon
Mahagon Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by snobb
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Mahagon was not very well known Czech fusion band, released two albums in late 70-s. This, debut release is very eclectic one. It opens with folk-fusion composition with strong folklore domination. Second song is pleasant,if not very original Latin jazz, obviously influenced by Return To Forever debut or Airto/Flora albums. Nice, competent, but not very original.

On third song it's time for funk. Guys obviously listened to Headhunters before they recorded this composition. Optimistic light fusion, too simple and far not original again. "Sen o zemi " is short pop-jazz song with wordless vocals.Next composition with soloing violin is one between most interesting on the album. This time source for inspiration was Ponty or,even more,Mihal Urbaniak. Nice composition with great drums and some Slavic soulful folk flavour (again as on Urbaniak's solo releases), but level of musicianship could be better.

"Pisecne Prisipe" is funk, with interesting keyboards and brass, kind of George Duke plus brass section. Not bad at all! "Pulnocni" is airy keyboards-led fairy tale tune, which continues as funky Weather Report's later song (with Flora Purim -like wordless vocals).

" Dívka s jablky" continues as groovy funk with same style female wordless vocals. Nice keys, not bad bass line. Album's closer, "Obrazarna", is brass filled almost big-band composition.

Very competent, but not original album with only average level of musicianship.My rating is 2,5 rounded to 3.

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 Mahagon by MAHAGON album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.75 | 15 ratings

BUY
Mahagon
Mahagon Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Marty McFly
Special Collaborator Errors and Omissions Team

4 stars So, around 40 minutes of not so well known band from Czech Republic, which surprisingly possess few quite fine musicians (I want to mention especially Jiří Jelínek, from here overlooked (so far) band ETC). In spite of having touch by funk, maybe even little bit of soul (after all, their main influence should be "Blood Sweat & Tears", which is unknown to me, but could be in similar style, jazz-funk fusion) with much more prog feeling than first album. After all, I know what this reminds me. A lot. Another Czech band from this era, Progres 2 and their album "Dialog s vesmírem", which was released two years later. Maybe this even influenced it. And also reminds of Hungarian band Solaris, with combination of flute and synths, so their "Marsbely" album. But this record can bring more. The reason why i want to give five stars, even star on verge of 4-5 is that it's probably the finest thing that was produced here. Yes, there were other jazz bands, but Mahagon went on another way, doing things differently. Yes, there are first 13 minutes, which are just above average, but rating this with 4 would be unfair. There are so many ideas and. For example, in work of Fermáta, even I like them, sounds sometimes quite the same. Like they're keeping themselves on beaten path. Ironically, this album is more adventurous and exploring, than Fermáta's concept album about adventurers.

4(-), worse rating is because of funk elements. Really very interesting album.

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 Slunecnice pro Vincenta van Gogha by MAHAGON album cover Studio Album, 1980
2.57 | 11 ratings

BUY
Slunecnice pro Vincenta van Gogha
Mahagon Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Marty McFly
Special Collaborator Errors and Omissions Team

3 stars More melancholic depicted work, then their previous one. And also more pop, even not as much as some may think (here in Czech Republic, those who loves prog often compares these two records and this fails every time, because it's just worse than 1st one. But to compare such albums shouldn't be rate to give 1/5 stars, or so. And also beware, this is not jazz, it's more eclectic. Oh, name of album is "Sunflowers for Vincent van Gogh" and also there's slight move from fusion to funk, most prominent in Válka šálků, (War of cups). Not that it's bad, but it's more easy to listen, with less treats and surprises. Well, less prog. And that's sad, because musicians like Michal Pavlíček and Michal Kocáb are here, one of the most famous here in Czech Republic. Looks like they run out of ideas here, innovation and produced more commercial album. But in then-present society, this was still one of the best albums produced.

3(+) for not so prog, but still good album.

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