Monday, May 8, 2017

Music: CD review Roberto Magris Prague After Dark

Personnel: Roberto Magris: piano; Frantisek Uhlir: bass; Jaromir Helesic: drums
Label:       JMood Records
There can be few pleasures greater than hearing seasoned musical pros dive into new music (and some standards) with the gusto and assurance demonstrated by this trio.  Not only is age just a bunch of numbers (pianist Magis is the youngest at 58), this group brings chops, energy and - most of all -  that "can't -fake" flat-out joy to jsut about every numbber on this 10-track disc.

Magris composed half of the album's selections, but his mates are not to be outdone. Bassist Uhlir wrote two, including one of my favourites "Nenazvana" and the programme also encompasses Herbie Nichols' Third World and smart choices from the Greta American Songbook (Jerome Kern n and Leo Robin's "In Love in Vain") and Don Pullen's sprightly "Joycie Girl". 

The other standout, from mys perspective, is "Song for An African Child" a mais piece that reflects the poignancy and the hopefulness of curent world affairs, especiall as they impact Europe. The title title track also rewards the lisener with pleasnat pulsation and some deft turns.   

Roberto Magris is an unanbashed favourite of this writer, mainly because he never allows his well travelled status (over 30 discs under his own name) to deflate the proceedings. Everything is given JUST that amount of weight and the intensity is always organic, never an attempt to impress. His rhythm partners are rock solid and always in tune. 
If you're a regular to thses pages, you know our admiration of his artistry. If you give this bright collection , you'll have one more confirmation as to why we esteem him (and his colleagues) so highly. There is polish, fierceness and wistfulness in great measure here - Prague after Dark is an intriguing and quietly beguiling effort.
9.5 out of 10

Track Listing: Another More Blues; Nenazvana; Third World; Prague After Dark; Joycie Girl; From Heart to Heart; Song for an African Child; A Summer’s Kiss; Iraqi Blues; In Love in Vain.

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