Only a select few Czech musicians can claim the honor of being nominated for a Czech Music Industry’s Anděl Award for every one of their albums. One of them is the pre-eminent Czech bassist Tomáš Liška, now releasing his fifth album, ‘Hope’ with his group.
As with his previous releases, Liška offers a canvas of pure, transparent instrumental music structures built on strong, captivating melodies rather than bringing attention to elaborate solos. The resulting musical space allows for elegant, free improvisation, benefiting from a rich palette of moods created by Liška’s outstanding international ensemble: the Serbian accordionist Nikola Zarić, the Turkish violinist Efe Turumtay, and the phenomenal Czech drummer Kamil Slezák.
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"Eastern European flavours with a Parisian jazz air"
The group’s sound is sometimes reminiscent of a Perisian café band, thanks largely to the instrumentation of accordion, violin and bass. Drums and electric guitar add textures making the music less folksy and, while mainlyinstrumental, the album contains a little singing that breaks it up nicely.
Apart from a beautifully rendered Turkish folk song, all tunes are Liška’s and display a jazz-like approach to composition.
Nikola Zarić’s accordion is a wonderfully affective acco
mpaniment instrument and bears most of the responsibility for harmony while occasionally taking flight with a virtuosic solo.
Much of the melody is taken by Efe Turumtay on violin and betrays influences of classical, Balkan and other music from further east, while David Drůžka’s guitar solo in ‘Kalimba’ even reminds one of the playing of Ali Farka Touré.
This really is an album from many places, but its diversity never feels forced and, instead, is woven carefully into the fabric of the music.
Tom Newell, Song Lines (UK), December 2017
A sophisticated blend of New and Old World influences, including Turkish violin, Balkan accordion and a pinch of tango nuevo. The result leaves as much space for listeners as for the musicians. A great opportunity for music adventurers.
Petr Dorůžka (World Music Journalist & Explorer)
"It was one of the most pleasant concerts in the history of this festival that reveals a high level of musicianship, understanding and absolute sincerity in the compositions.
We still receive so many positive feedback from people who came over to attend."
Amro Salah, Director of Cairo Jazz Festival