Thirty-eighth music presentation session for the blind and visually handicapped took place this time in two locations. Prague on 12th of April 2022 in the presentation room of Czech agency SONS (Czech Blind United) and in Ostrava: 20th of April 2022 in Stará aréna Ostrava theatre. You can find the background of this project in an article about the first session here.
Prague: Congratulations to Arooj Aftab, Alanis Morissette and Mansur Brown & Kandace Springs.
Ostrava: Congratulations to Mansur Brown, If These Trees Could Talk and Kandace Springs
|01 – Animals As Leaders – Red Miso||5.5|
|02 – Mansur Brown – Mansur’s Message Part 2 (Live)||8.5|
|03 – Robert Glasper – Everybody Wants To Rule The World (Live)||5|
|04 – If These Trees Could Talk – Barren Lands of The Modern Dinosaur||2.5|
|05 – Kandace Springs – Pearls ft. Avishai Cohen||8.5|
|06 – Audience Choice #1 –||3.5|
|07 – Greg Puciato – Lowered (feat. Reba Meyers)||1|
|08 – Silk Sonic – Leave The Door Open||1.5|
|09 – Blue Uandi – Manu||4.5|
|10 – Arooj Aftab – Mohabbat (Live)||17|
|11 – Audience Choice #2 – Creedence Clearwater Revival – Lookin’ Out My Back Door||4|
|12 – Bonus: Alanis Morissette – Wake Up (Live)||11|
There are truly not many modern metal bands, which grow with such taste, as Animals As Leaders. They were part of the specialized gear magazines for years, many of the starting guitar players were joking they stopped playing when they heard Tosin Abasi. Yet, they can fill the venue or a crowd at a festival Brutal Assault here. Btw, that albino moshing is my good friend Kuře. New AAL’s album is again to some extend very challenging material to dig through. But it’s hell of a worth it. Insane tempo, mathematical level of technique, yet there are pieces like Red Miso, which are more gentle and atmospheric.
I really respect Tosin, but if I had to pick my most favorite guitar player for a number of years now, it would be London based Mansur Brown. To be honest, I discovered him though a track called Love Is The Message where he joined Alfa Mist (who brought me to modern jazz), Yussef Dayes and Rocco Palladino. I always like to say that if somebody placed a gun to my head and told me, I had a space for a single track, it would be Love Is The Message. Mansur released two amazing solo albums, however this piece, I played for the audience, is his most trademark piece, he used to play in the early days with Yussef Dayes a lot. Live shows, either streamed or with an audience were some of the tools, how the musicians lived through the pandemic. This one from Barbican Main Hall in London was one of the best, I have ever seen. God Bless.
Next track was an ideal combo between world of jazz, where I am lately intensively involved because of Český rozhlas Jazz, and accessible intelligent 80’s pop. Plus this track from Tears For Fears is one of the most favorite pieces of one of the most stable guests and my friend Barbora. Robert Glasper, which won numerous Grammy awards (last year for an amazing track Better Than I Imagined ft. H.E.R., Meshell Ndegeocello) has released a third part of his respected album series Black Radio. Check also tracks: In Tune, It Don’t Matter, Bright Lights and Forever.
During the last couple of sessions, I completely returned to my post rock/metal roots. There are number of good releases from either new or established bands. But what to do about breathtaking pieces from the past? The main concept of these events are three pillars: New releases, upcoming cultural events & anniversaries. Red Forest album from American band If These Trees Could Talk, came out exactly ten years ago and I was always so sorry I discovered them just a few months after they arrived for the first and the last time to Prague. Since then, a track called Barren Lands Of The Modern Dinosaur became for me an ultimate post rock/metal track. This genre usually works great with space or the mightiness of nature. Either mountains or natural extremes. This fan video proves it.
My spotify playlist on post rock/metal called A Touch Of Singularity here
I came across extremely talented American singer Kandace Springs few months ago, as she was supposed to play in Prague during a prestigious Pražské jaro festival. This was cancelled later on but it gave me an impulse to prepare a one hour special for Český rozhlas Jazz radio station about her. Whatever she touched is an instant greatness and it’s so great to watch she was on the amazing success path since the first releases. Yet humble and working hard. Good luck and looking forward to see you in Prague soon.
One hour special about Kandace in Czech here
Spotify playlist here
Audience choice #1
As the first choice from an audience, in Ostrava my friend Tibor asked for a live track from boygenius called Souvenir.
|01 – Animals As Leaders – Red Miso||14|
|02 – Mansur Brown – Mansur’s Message Part 2 (Live)||15.5|
|03 – Robert Glasper – Everybody Wants To Rule The World (Live)||12|
|04 – If These Trees Could Talk – Barren Lands of The Modern Dinosaur||15|
|05 – Kandace Springs – Pearls ft. Avishai Cohen||14.5|
|06 – Audience Choice #1 –||8.5|
|07 – Greg Puciato – Lowered (feat. Reba Meyers)||3.5|
|08 – Silk Sonic – Leave The Door Open||2|
|09 – Blue Uandi – Manu||4.5|
|10 – Arooj Aftab – Mohabbat (Live)||6|
|11 – Audience Choice #2 –||7|
|12 – Bonus: Alanis Morissette – Wake Up (Live)||8.5|
After the break
Older I get, I love the spectrum of music and I very much appreciate bravery of artists to expand their horizons. I follow a career of Greg Puciato for a long time and he is an ideal example. Frontman of the most dangerous band in the world The Dillinger Escape Plan (Yes, I played the video of him, while we was running on the heads of the audience in Megastore), member of a metal supergroup Killed Be Killed and especially a singer of 80’s synth pop band The Black Queen. I am pretty much obsessed with this band, as it works perfectly with my love for 80’s synth and melancholy. His solo stuff is also very good and this a brand new collaborative track with Reba Meyers. I listened to this this thirty times in a row on one ear, while I was snowboarding few weeks ago in Italy.
I am extremely grateful for very friendly and open environment during these events. Otherwise I couldn’t imagine playing the next thing. To stay up-to-date with everything around, I try to watch Grammy awards, Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame and Czech awards. A cooperation between Anderson Paak. and Bruno Mars won a Grammy for the song of the year. It’s so damn poppy, but at the same time, this is the first I really like Bruno Mars somewhere and I am mainly a huge fan of Anderson Paak.’s funk touch and humour. He does exactly the same faces as a respected Czech piano player Martin Konvička. Only Czech speakers and “enlightened” will understand this video. But Martin’s his jazz material is so damn good and his Coming Homo album won numerous awards. Plus I like to use this video as one of the examples of a great English accent during my English classes. Enjoy this track by Silk Sonic (fun/moves and the girls fan club) and I will explain all of these mentions further later.
And now back to Czech Republic and a total underground environment. This is a top class music, but barely known. It’s promoted by many respected Czech music PR workers, it combines incredibly melancholy, ambient electronics, artistic bravery, yet still practically unknown. It is a project by already mentioned jazz piano player Martin Konvička and ambient metal guitarist David Machovský. This takes us right to the beginning of the presentation. In 2016 I went to Brutal Assault festival with a goal to get front cover pictures for my earlier interview with Tosin Abasi. Labels did not want to provide any photos and neither did the gear brands he cooperated with. I arranged a photo shoot at a festival ground through the band’s management. However, my good friend didn’t bring the camera, so I talked about this with one Italian photographer I met on the way to the festival. However, when the time of the photoshoot came, she didn’t arrive on time. So I went to a press center and gave it a try with a single person, who was sitting there. “Excuse me, would you be interested to a do a photo session in five minutes to take front cover pictures of Tosin Abasi for Muzikus?!” The answer was amazing: “Yes. Hell yes! Thank you!” Since then we are good friends with the photographer: xMartinezzPhotographyx. When the interview came out, I was contacted by a Czech atmospheric modern rock/metal band Fox Territory. They had aspects in their music I like to call “lounge djent”. Their bass player Jiří Horák wrote me to check their music. David Machovský was a stable member of the band and Martin Konvička was cooperating with them as well. Another important figure in this story is drummer Marek Urbánek. He is in numerous Czech bands, including Zorba že ja Buddha, which was played quite during these events recently. He was a member of Martin Konvička trio and he is playing drums on Blue Uandi. Looking forward to see them live in October in Prague.
Second half of these events is an ideal timing to include some world music. The Brooklyn-based Pakistani singer Arooj Aftab won the world music category and her world is an absolute beauty. Well deserved Grammy and the first place in Prague for a live version of the track called Mohabbat.
Audience choice #2
As the second choice from an audience, in Prague my friends asked for Creedence Clearwater Revival. In Ostrava my cousin asked for Heart Set to Divide track from Katatonia. I love this Swedish legendary band for many reasons. Plus it’s great it’s the only band my father and my two uncles would agree on. Their are truly the most favorite band in my family.
Rest in Piece Taylor
Next events: Tonight in Ostrava. Prague: 24th of May.