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Bohemia - Zrnko písku CD (album) cover



Jazz Rock/Fusion

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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.

Report this review (#219546)
Posted Tuesday, June 2, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars Great albun of this band from old Chec Republic. One of the most finest progressive Jazz fusion band, that made this album in the most prolific and high quality decade of last century. The 70 decade of corse. Some very good guitar solos with or without distorction but in fusion vein. Some bass solos and high moments in all the albun, a metal section that made a very nice Jazz context, with some solos of sax. A great stuff in a East Europe country and context, and comes from a one of the most prolific and high quality East country that made some of the greatest bands of progressive ever. Bohemia is another great band. High recomended for all that like 70 decade and fusion jazz. I give 4 stars but 4,5 really.
Report this review (#286720)
Posted Wednesday, June 16, 2010 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
4 stars What an incredible Jazz / Fusion album this is. Straight out of the Czech Republic too. This is a super-group with the sax / flute and bass player both coming from FLAMENGO, the keyboardist from BLUE EFFECT and the drummer from JAZZ Q. Then throw in a 20 year guitar prodigy and we have one talented band. I thought of MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA a lot when listening to this album although this isn't as fiery and there are vocals here.The vocals remind me of the singing on SBB and are the weak link. This is so good though.

"Chor Minulych Nohou V Bruchodu "Pasaz"" sounds great early on especially the drumming and electric piano.Vocals before a minute.Guitar comes to the fore 3 minutes in. It settles after 4 minutes with electric piano and drums standing out. Sax around 5 minutes. It kicks back in with vocals late to end it. "Zatisi Peronnich Listku" has a light beat, bass and flute as laid back vocals join in. Electric piano too. When it gets fuller we get some sax as contrasts continue. I like the guitar and mood 3 minutes in, then the guitar starts to lifght it up a minute later. So good. It settles back with flute after 5 minutes. Gorgeous.

"Sen O Snu" opens with atmosphere and flute. Reserved vocals before a minute. Intricate guitar and piano help out. Piano comes to the fore when the vocals stop.Vocals are back before 4 1/2 minutes. "Horke Letni Stmivani" features intricate sounds as the vocals join in.The bass is prominant. It kicks in at 2 minutes with flute, then settles back after 3 minutes with sax. It picks up again before 6 minutes with the guitar out front before settling one last time with vocals before 8 minutes. "Milenci Pued Pollockovym Obrazem" has some passionate vocals early on and the sound is quite powerful too. It settles 2 1/2 minutes in then picks up after 4 minutes. Check out the drumming and sax ! The sax then turns insane. Vocals are back 6 1/2 minutes in and guitar follows.

Thanks again to Todd for another amazing discovery.

Report this review (#300080)
Posted Wednesday, September 22, 2010 | Review Permalink

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