Dave Douglas, MM&W, Brian Blade, Avishai Cohen, Pat Metheny & other jazz icons in Czech soonish

The Cherry Thing - a collaboration between Scandinavian power jazz trio The Thing (freejazz icons Mats Gustafsson - saxes, Ingebrigt Haker Flaten - bass, Paal Nilssen-Love - drums) and a trip-hop diva Neneh Cherry (daugher-in-law of great late trumpeter, Ornette Coleman collaborator and early world music inventor Don Cherry) on July 2 in Lucerna Music Bar, Prague. Reports from first concerts of this unusual collaboration at The Thing's website are enthusiastic. The Cherry Thing album in praparation. It is far yet at the moment.

A bit closer is Dave Douglas with his Keystone sextet at Jazz Dock on May 20. Medeski, Martin & Wood will visit Prague for second time  - after bursting open air show during United Islands of Prague 2oo6 they fulfill industrial Meet Factory space on April 23, under Jazz Dock direction. Phenomenal drummer Brian Blade intruduces himself as a troubadour with guitar, backing band and his songs from Mama Rosa album at Jazz Dock a night earlier.

Harmolodic mayhem - Free Form Funky Freqs aka Vernon Reid (guitar), Jamaaladeen Tacuma (bass guitar) and Grant Calvin Weston (drums) will be back 5 dates in Czech from April 12 to 19 - Prague stop at Jazz Time on 18th.

Dont forget Jazz Meets World series, which bring FFFF last year for the first time (into nearly empty Jazz Time cellar). Nearest is Russian-American Alex Sipiagin Quartet at Jazz Time on April 14. Prolific trumpeter Alex 'Sasha' Sipiagin is member of Dave Holland's Big Band and Octet and recorded a series of fine albums for Criss Cross label. His latest one named Destinations Unknown features stellar line-up of Chris Potter and David Binney on saxes, Craig Taborn on piano / Fender Rhodes, Eric Harland on drums and fellow Russian in NYC and current leader of Mingus Big Band, Boris Kozlov on bass. Alex Sipiagin was previously in Prague many years ago as member of Normal Garden, a brilliant septet led by trombonist Christophe Schweizer. From other concerts accesible through JMW website I would like to mention Roy Hargrove Quintet (April 10) and Jiří 'George' Mráz Quartet (with Joey Baron and Rich Perry, June 19) at Prague Castle.

April 10 also marks beginning of JazzFest Brno, which will feature Alex Sipiagin Quartet and Brian Blade Mama Rosa group again, alongside Vijay Iyer Trio, Jiří Stivín & Mojmír Bártek 70th birthday group with Didrik Ingvaldsen, Matěj Benko Quintet, Tigran Hamasyan, Inner Spaces featuring David Dorůžka, Donny McCaslin Quartet, Avishai Cohen Trio (new line-up) and more in between April 10 and 26th. Plus new exciting Pat Metheny Group featuring Chris Potter, Ben Williams and Antonio Sanchez at JazzFest Echoes concert on June 28.

Most actually there is launch of  CD One from Otto Hejnic Trio at Jazz Dock, April 1. Versatile drummer and percussionist Otto Hejnic (he is also photographer, as you can see on his website) recorded around 30 albums as sideman up to date and One, released  by Hevhetia label from Slovakia, is his first project as a leader. Colleagues in his trio are double bass player Josef Fečo (member of Zuzana Lapčíková Quintet or Libor Šmoldas Quartet, also on new Japan CD Kafka on the Shore by Emil Viklický Trio) and pianist Ondrej Krajňák (of Ondřej Štveráček Quartet a.o.). More intimate concert at Potrvá café is preceding on March 31. Guesting on both evenings will be Hungarian singer and saxophonist Gábor Winard.

Apropos Potrvá - next Saturday, April 7th, brings another evening of regular Improvising (ob)sessions free jazz series, this time with Free 5 - a promising combination of Luboš Soukup and Marcel Bárta (saxes), Oskar Török (trumpet), Jan Jirucha (trombone) and Daniel Šoltis (drums). Concert will be recorded for Euro Jazz web radio broadcast.

And last today's announcement - a world jazz legend Oregon as part of AghaRTA Prague Jazz Festival at Lucerna Music Bar, April 18. Bon Appetite ;~}


... and here we are again: Fates Warning and The Rudder

Super-energetic Amarican quartet THE RUDDER plays two nights at Jazz Dock:  March 14th and 15th will see Chris Cheek (saxes), Henry Hey (keyboards), Tim Lefebvre (bass) and Keith Carlock (drums) back in Prague's prominent jazz club. Their last release is dvd Live at Rockwood Music Hall, NYC (Nineteen-Eight Records 2o11).

Progressive metal legends FATES WARNiNG from Connecticut will play their first ever Czech concert at Exit-us club (located on new address, Sokolovská 195) on Sunday, March 18th. They were playing in Galanta, Slovakia in 1990, during their Perfect Symmetry tour. Since then, FW became progmetal gods with relatively spare released output - their last album FWX dates back to 2oo4! In 2o1o, Fates Warning did a reunion tour, celebrating expanded reissue of their most succesful album Parallels (Metal Blade, originally 1991). Band's mastermind, guitarist and composer Jim Matheos is now joined by colourful Ray Alder on vocals (with FW since 1988, when he replaced John Arch and contributed on No Exit album), guitarist Frank Aresti (member since third album Awaken The Guardian, temporarily left the band between 1996 and 2003), bass player Joey Vera (with FW from 1997, A Pleasant Shade Of Gray period) and drummer Bobby Jarzombek (tour member since 2oo7). Support act for Prague concert will be Czech Sebastien, who recorded their debut album Tears of White Roses (Escape Music 2o1o) with production help of Roland Grapow (ex-Helloween).

When Fates Warning started in first half of 80's with original singer John Arch, second guitar player Victor Arduini, bassist Joe DiBiase and drummer Steve Zimmerman, they were real heavy metal unit influenced by NWOBH, particulalry by British originals Iron Maiden. With gradual personal changes, their sound became more and more cultivated, sophisticated, progressive... Another comparison cited frequently during Perfect Symmetry (first with phenomenal Mark Zonder on drums) and Parallels times were Queensryche, but in fact FW were always going their own way, paralleled by other genre stalwarts like Dream Theater or mentioned Seattle stars. And what somebody calls 'commercial' or poppish regarding Parallels album, is IMHO really great songwriting with clever arrangements and timeless lyrics. In later work, FW became more or less heavy sounding at times. On Disconnected (Metal Blade 2ooo) album's closing track, a very special sample is used - a voice recorded during the following event: 'On the first of October 1960 a voice manifested in space in the seance-room of British medium Leslie Flint which claimed to be that of the late Dr. Gordon Cosmo Lang, the former Archbishop of Canterbury (1864 - 1945).' More information on this event here.

"And I say to you, there is only one way in which the world can be saved from itself and that is by the realisation that love overcometh all things. That those who have gone before you are concerned for you, each one. But we come back to your world endeavouring to break down the barriers that you have created by foolishness and ignorance over the centuries and we knock at your door, hoping and praying that you will open just a little, that we may enter therein and save you from yourselves."


The Osmosis version CZ & other impro stories

improvising (ob)sessions at Potrvá on Saturday, March 3 presents The Osmosis: Rodrigo Reijers, Cyrille Oswald, Petr Zelenka - zpěv, kytara, flétny, saxofon, mougongo, dulcimer, perkuse, didgeridoo a mnoho dalších nástrojů. Když moderní improvizátoři potkají Bwiti, může nastat neočekávaná reakce. Připravte se na bizarní, neslýchaný zvuk Osmosis, neo-archaických strážců hranic z Nizozemí, kteří nyní navázali psychické spojení s českými mystickými mistry zvuku. Pouze pro odvážné posluchače s dobrým a upřímným srdcem.

New impro releases / free downloads: Tembryo (Filip Černý - electric guitar, Jan Faix - no-input cassette players, Jan Kyncl - tenor sax), Count Portmon  (Jan Faix - no-input cassette players). Count Portmon album will be launched at next wakushoppu at Café v lese on Thursday, March 8.