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Universal Syncopations II by Miroslav Vitous

A pivotal figure during the ‘70s and ‘80s progressive-jazz and fusion realm, eminent Czech bassist Miroslav Vitous’ solo career waned down to a snail’s pace during the past decade. While concentrating on technological aspects and symphonic library initiatives undertaken in the ‘90s, Vitous jump-started his solo career with the 2003, star-studded album titled Universal Syncopations. The newly issued follow-up featuring his patented Miroslav Vitous Symphonic Orchestra Samples is a third-stream type endeavor, where the artist carefully overdubbed his samples atop the jazz ensemble performances. This adventurous studio session also includes vocalist Vesna Vasko-Caceres and bandoneon performer Daniele di Bonaventura, lending their wares during various compositions and movements. And where others fail the bassist succeeds, largely due to these capacious arrangements that surface as multihued pastiches amid variable jazz-centric rhythmic structures. Stinging solos by tenor saxophonist Bob Mintzer and trumpeter Randy Brecker are often-integrated with temporal strings and bursting vocal chants. Yet Vitous’ booming and meticulously constructed lines serve as the axis for the entire presentation.

On many of these works the musicians broaden the playing field while offering elements of convergence. With the piece titled "Solar Giant," soprano saxophonist Gary Campbell’s fluent choruses intersect with blaring horn parts atop a bustling pulse; casting notions of imminent danger. However, Vitous’ shrewd compositional pen and arranging acumen shines glowingly as wistful dream-state opuses and di Bonaventura’s jubilant progressions often segue into temperate musical planes. In effect, Vitous projects the best of numerous possibilities with a focused game-plan that once again, sets a lofty standard of excellence that is distinguishable, cerebral and entertainingly gratifying. (Release date: July 24th 2007).

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Miroslav Vitous
  • CD Title: Universal Syncopations II
  • Genre: Progressive
  • Year Released: 2007
  • Record Label: ECM Records
  • Rating: Four Stars
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