Štěpán Markovič and Gipsy Groove

@ Jazz Gate 18.4.2024

Last night yhalinen.com expanded its musical boundaries a little bit. A step into the world of Funk and/or Jazz, or was it maybe Funky Jazz, this said with a little irony, since I don’t understand the importance of always categorizing everything  you’re listening to. Thanks to the wide world of the web I of course knew a little what to expect last night, and yet it was a nice surprise. I’ll confess right now that everything was not in my taste, but it doesn’t need to be, right? Besides this music genre, like I already mentioned, was in many ways new to me. I only need to expand my narrow way of thinking, that’s all. To make a long story short, will I go to listen to these guys again? Absolutely, they had something I can’t put my finger on, but I would like to experience and learn it some more. 

Coconut palms and the Caribbean sea

After a little slow start, maybe (remember I’m narrow minded), Štěpán and his Gypsies took us to a rhythmic trip that didn’t leave anybody cold (klice, I know but…), the audience, close friends or not, was definitely happy with what they where getting. Personally I found myself stopped breathing during a very beautiful ballad which held only the sax and keyboard (synthesiser). If I learned some more Czech I would probably remember the name of the song also, if it’s important? Mind you at one point the rhythm made me feel the scent from coconut palms and the Caribbean sea, this to give you an example of what to expect if you run into these guys. The two sets also included what today is referred to as modern jazz, I guess, but since this is not yet my cup of tea, I leave it to that. I think all of us in the audience were quite happy with this rhythmic journey that was served to us, and we’ll be back!

Full blooded professionals, again...

I said this before, but so what. I don’t understand where all these Czech musical talents come from (ok, including a few immigrants also, I know… 🙂 ) , the whole country seems to be full of them. Before I moved here I had no idea of the musical journey this country provides you with. Last night made no exception and on the stage we saw:
Štěpán Markovič – sax
Pavel Dirda – keys
Libor Dirda – drums
Vladimír Dirda – bass
Ladislav Richter – guitar
Štěpán Markovič with his sax is of course the most well known in this group and for a reason, a saxofon that played with the big names in the music world, which I won’t start to list because it’s not important, it takes two to tango, right. But yes Štěpán has a very nice touch to his instrument and his humble and sympathetic performance on the stage is a bonus to us, he knows how to take his audience, no doubt about it, and nothing wrong with that!  
Pavel on keyboard lives in the music in a positive way that one has to see, it can’t really be described with words.
Libor on drums gives you the impression that, “don’t mess with me, I know what I’m doing”, and he does!
Vladimir on the bass with a first impression of a stoneface but so wrong. He seems lost to the rest of the world and lives only in the music, and he has the skills for that!
Ladislav with his telecaster, wow! solo or comping, it’s not what you do but how you do it!
An evening that was overall satisfying, and for me a step into something new. I suggest that if you have the opportunity, you should take that step also!

Jazz Gate = Písecka Brána

A small hint, the place Jazz Gate is officially named Písecka Brána it’s a part of Prague fortress, it’s worth a visit even without the music. It’s not full of tourists even though it’s close to the castle and royal garden, the prices are humane and they serve very nice coffee and cakes! 🙂 

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