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Jazz Rock/Fusion • Czech Republic

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Stromboli biography
Stromboli was Czech art rock group mixed with fusion of different styles. Founded in 1986 by guitarist (of Prazský výběr fame), Michal Pavlíček, who already was in many bands and projects. They were characteristical by high vocal of singer Bára Basiková (who later pursued successfull, more pop oriented career). Bass guitar was played by Jiří Veselý. Later on, lineup was quite unstable (drums/percussion played by Klaudius Kryspín of Prazský výběr fame and Jan Seidl, keyboards by Vendula Kaspárková and Roman Dragoun). Guest (and responsible person for their probably well known song "Ó hory, hory") player was Vilém Čok (again of Prazský výběr). They released two studio albums, Stromboli (in 1987) and from prog point of view worse, Shutdown (1989) + Best of & Shutdown played with music composed for a string quartet.

Written by Martin M. (Marty McFly)

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STROMBOLI discography

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

4.04 | 33 ratings
2.56 | 16 ratings
5.00 | 1 ratings
Fiat Lux

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

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

0.00 | 0 ratings
The Best Of Stromboli
3.00 | 1 ratings
Stromboli Shutdown & Stromboli In Quartet

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


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 Stromboli by STROMBOLI album cover Studio Album, 1987
4.04 | 33 ratings

Stromboli Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

4 stars STROMBOLI is an Italian island off the coast of Sicily but it's also a type of turnover filled with various Italian cheeses (typically mozzarella), however today we will be discussing another STROMBOLI and that is the progressive art rock band from Prague, Czech Republic that was originally founded by Michal Pavl'ček in 1985 as a live jazz-rock trio for the Prague Jazz Festival and consisted of guitarist Michal Pavl'ček, bass guitarist Vladim'r Guma Kulh'nek and drummer Klaudius Kry'p'n. Previously Pavl'ček was blacklisted by the repressive government of Czechoslovakia with his first band Prazsky Vyber (Prague Selection) and its liberal criticism of political affairs. Despite it being so, countless illegal cassette copies circulated the land and Pavl'ček attracted an audience. As far as the name STROMBOLI goes, it was actually inspired by Pavl'ček's witnessing of the volcano on the island of the same name.

STROMBOLI's debut is a double album and an eclectic mix to say the least and basically summarizes the years 1985-86 with seven live performances and nine studio tracks. This album features Michael Koc'b (singing), Iva Bittov' (violin) and both Pavlek's sons Jan and Michal mlad'' (singing). Four pieces were translated by Josef Hir'al for the text of Christiane Morgenstern's poem, followed by two other texts by Zuzana Michnov', Josef Novotn' and Vil'm Čok. It hosts the various styles of jazz-rock fusion, space rock, new wave and even heavy metal.

Often it seems more like a compilation of different artists and given the various lineup changes, it for all intents and purposes actually is with only Pavl'ček serving as the common denominator. The live tracks that constitute the first half of the album showcase Pavl'ček's unique jazz-fusion guitar playing style with the unusual vocals of B'ra Basikov' with poems by Christian Morgenstern set to music, and the remaining quarter is a mixture of rock songs sung by various singers. The rest of the album includes many other various singers. So the lineup varies substantially from track to track and this is more like a collection of tracks thrown together for the sake of a debut.

The jazz-rock elements are really only present on the live recordings which take place in a guitar dominated fashion complemented by female vocals. The studio tracks are more diverse and range from Oingo Boingo styled new wave without the horn section but with the Danny Elfman vocal eccentricities. There are moments of Pink Floyd inspired space rock and even tracks that capture the 80s heavy metal scene with galloping distorted guitar riffs. While this sounds like a mess, somehow it is all tamed by the excellent vocal performances that rein in the disparate roles of the guitar, bass and keyboards. The progressive elements come in the form of time signatures and jazz related elements but not ubiquitously throughout the album which has many new wave styled tracks.

STROMBOLI ultimately sounds a bit like some of the female vocal led Cirque du Soleil music with less of the French influences. The lyrics are in the Czech language so it comes off with a Slavic flair on the tracks with female vocals and a bit like a more metalized Oingo Boingo on many others. There are many other subtle styles that give this album a rather unique overall presentation. Despite being a double album, this one is quite a pleasant listen. STROMBOLI would release another album 'Shutdown' in 1989 and fall silent until 2014's 'Flat Lux.' Michal Pavl'ček would carry on with a solo career and collaborate with other artists. This is one of those strange anomalies from behind the Eastern frontiers before the wall came down and a testament to how creatively the Eastern European nations were at adopting Western music.

 Shutdown  by STROMBOLI album cover Studio Album, 1989
2.56 | 16 ratings

Stromboli Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Despite their italian name Stromboli, they were and czech art rock - art pop (on their second album) band from mid to late'80s. Conducted by excellent guitarist Michal Pavlicek, a well known name aswell in jazz rock realm, he was part of Bohemia in late '70s, a top band from this country and from eastern Europe. Well, Stromboli on their second release from 1989 named Shutdown change the direction from previous album (was a prog jazz rock album) selftitled issued two years prior into more art rock, art pop elctro prog stuff, not bad at all, despite some negative reviews I saw here and there. I like it, is diverse but in same time compact, even suffers from that late '80s plastic production. A plus for me is the excellent voice of Bára Basiková, really great voice, a special track is the opening Abacus, - absolutly killer tune with a gothic atmosphere, one of my fav songs ever any genre, her voice shine all through. , the guitar parts are aswell top , Michal Pavlicek handle the guitar with an exemplary ease on every piece. Another highlights are Sandonorico and the title track. As I said I like this album quite much, is experimental is almost pop in places but without being comercial, is art prog and has all the elements for a good album. Considered their worse from the two, I think Shutdown desearves attention, even for prog listners. So, easely 3.5 stars for me,

 Shutdown  by STROMBOLI album cover Studio Album, 1989
2.56 | 16 ratings

Stromboli Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Sean Trane
Special Collaborator Prog Folk

2 stars As the name does not indicate, this is a Czech group that recorded a few albums around the turn of the 80's into the 90's. Apparently they were quite disparate in their musical styles and varied a lot from one album (their earlier being reputed jazz-rock) to another. However, on this album, which is the most easily found, they remain quite even throughout the album, doing some kind of Gothic rock that can be placed between those progmetal groups like After Forever and an alternative rock with gothic-folk influences like Miranda Sex Garden. Nothing really thrilling and unfortunately the album is plagued by the awful late-80's drum sounds (often programmed) and an electro-pop feel is certainly not helping. Certainly not much jazz-rock in this album, even if Miroslav Vitous guests on the seventh track. Not worth the progheads' investigation, unless enjoying the pop music of the era.
Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to Fitzcarraldo for the last updates

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