Anything we play we evaluate in terms of originality – our mission is to play music, which we have not heard before. We want the music to be current and catching without compromising an artistic quality of its content. Major part of the music we compose together to be sure that each musical individuality is imprinted right into the songs, which generates the most authentic sound of the band.
The project has been put together by its guitarist Radim Přidal in 2019, who teamed with saxophonist Petr Smékal, former classmate from studies at Janáček Academy of Music in Brno, CZ. In drummer Marek Antoňů and bassist Vlastimil Škoda (both alumnis of VOŠ Jaroslava Ježka in Prague) they found not only a very strong rhythm section, but also soulmates and highly original players.
In 2020 we released a 5-piece video-series of live sessions in different, often unsual environments, which was also released as EP Live Sessions available on Spotify or Bandcamp. In this pandemic year, they won the 2nd prize in JazzFruit competition (CZ) and were selected to the final of international competition of the festival Jazz in the Park (RO), which was cancelled due to restrictions. But we used the time when we couldn’t perform to play in the rehearsal room, create new music and find our own sound, so we came out of it with a ready, mature and sophisticated debut album.
We draw inspiration eclectically across contemporary jazz and popular music, and try to blend these two worlds into one naturally. The defining influence is the current New York jazz scene and musicians such as Justin Brown, James Francies, Jeremy Dutton, Mark Guiliana, Donny McCaslin, Robert Glasper and Charles Altura, but occasionally echoes of early jazz idols such as Pat Metheny and Bill Frisell peek out of our work. In the field of popular music, it’s a varied mix ranging from David Bowie to Radiohead, and the Red Hot Chilli Peppers to Anderson Paak, to name a few. Openness is important to us, not only in music.
Right now, we’re releasing our debut album Open to Closeness on Bivak Records, featuring a guest appearance from star New York keyboardist Jason Lindner. You can hear him on David Bowie’s last, iconic album Blackstar, or in the bands of Donny McCaslin, Mark Guiliana, his own Now vs. Now project and many others. This collaboration was a dream-come-true idea of the bandleader Radim Přidal: “Jason was my number one wish when I was thinking about who I’d like to feature as a guest artist on the album. We never met and didn’t know each other before and when he agreed to work on the album with us, it was really thrilling and gratifying. The collaboration worked out perfectly and Jason, remotely from his home studio in Brooklyn, recorded the keyboard, synth and sequencer tracks and really moved the album forward big time,” says Přidal about the experience.
The album’s title “Open To Closeness” carries a strong non-musical theme:
As a society, we’ve isolated ourselves in our shells, be they cities, apartments, or cars, thinking that we’ve matured to our surroundings, that we’ve conquered them, that we can cut ourselves off from their influence, and that we’re better off without them. But now we are coming to the point that eventually we have no choice but to come out of these shells again and find a new relationship with the environment, a new way to live in connection and intimacy with it.
Petr Smékal – saxophone
Radim Přidal – guitar
Vlastimil Škoda – bassguitar
Marek Antoňů – drums