Hope you liked it and I hope to share my passion with you in the next blogs.
The concert of the Original Prague Syncopated Orchestra at the night concert of the Oude Stijl Jazz Festival in Breda ( The Netherlands) on the 6th of May, 1978, was a great event. The concert took part in one of the large concert halls in Het Turfschip in Breda.
On stage eight persons dressed as if they were dropped here as a part of an exhibition about the Roaring Twenties. The band, its official Czech name is ORIGINALNI PRAZSKY SYNKOPICKY ORCHESTR, was unknown to most people in the audience. When the concert started everybody was amazed by the 1920s sound the band produced.
I still remember the thrill the moment the tune Five Foot Two Eyes Of Blue was played and Ondrej Havelka started to sing the first lines of the theme. It was as if everybody in the audience got the same experience on the same time: this band were the California Ramblers alive, a rebirth from 1925. The screaming and yelling of the audience has been saved on the LP that was released of this event. Each tune they performed gave the same thrill. Sweet Henry, as played by Noble Sissle and Eubie Blake was such another thrill and when the band played I'm Not worrying it was as if Clarence Williams in person entered the stage.
The enthusiasm of the audience was overwelming. The end of the concert was rather chaotic. When Pavel Klikar announced that the band would play its last number, the audience didn't except that and it had to play two or three extra tunes. You can hear the desperation in Klikar's voices when he says: Really really at last ..... as they runed out of repertoire.
The way the Original Prague Syncopated Orchestra performed was historically thought out in detail. The dress, the hair cut, the announcements, the instruments and the sound. The band members played their instruments like it was usual in the 1920s. No drums, for example. A (snare) drum, although used in those days on stage, was never used in accoustic recordings as its sound would upset the recordings. That's why these bands often used woodblocks or a cymbal for rhythm. But not the Original Prague Syncopated Orchestra.
Another remarkable instrument used is the violophon, the violin that uses a horn to amplify the sound. .
I remember that, I guess it was a year later at the same Oude Stijl Jazz Festival, when the band had to return of course, the musicians of the band where not content with the sound that was reproduced through the amplifiers, as it still had a kind of stereo-effect. It should be a pure mono-sound.
The 1978 concert was released on a Jazz Crooner LP ( JC 068578 ) and is now a collector's item too.
The complete information of the LP is:
ORIGINALNI PRAZSKY SYNKOPICKY ORCHESTR : Pavel Klikar dir-co-p, Thomas Velinsky tb, Frantisek Rubas cl-ss-bs, Jan Stolba cl-as, Zbynek Maly v-violophon, Jiri Gilik p, Jiri Sicha banj, Ondrej Havelka vo.
Recorded Breda, 6 May 1978
1 - Chinaman Blues
2 - Five Foot Two Eyes Of Blue
3 - I'm Not Worrying
4 - Sweet henry
5 - Up The Country Blues
6 - Mama Is Going To Slow You down
7 - Rough Bottom
8 - Harmonica Blues
9 - Love Found You for Me
10 - Salty dog
11 - I'd Rather Be The Girl In Your Arms
12 - Alice Blue Gown
13 - When Our Grammophone Plays Black Bottom
Released as JAZZ CROOMER vol. 11 ( JC 068578 )
The Original Prague Syncopated Orchestra returned the next year to the festival and made a tour along some other venues. They also perfomed in Germany and other countries. Some more LPs were released ( like WAM 780.065 ) and also a CD, Jazz & Hot Dance Music 1923-31 ( Panton 81 0331).
As promissed I'll share some of these recordings with the loyal daily visitors of this blog who contacted me and I hope to share my passion, my knowledge and enthusiasm about jazz music as played between 1917 and 2017 in my daily Keep swinging blog: http://keepswinging.blogspot.com ( please book mark it, forward it to your friends, link it or use the RSS-function, which gives you the possibility to see automatically on your screen each new contribution that has been posted.
Enjoy the tune Five Foot Two Eyes Of Blue by clicking on the title bar or on the tune title.
Thanks to Jørgen too, who even visits my blogs even two or three times a day and replace me when I am unable to make my daily contribution. - I hope a present I promised him, will arrive today ( or tomorrow, or the day after ..... )
Hans Durium Koert