Roman Pokorný

Feelin' The Spirit - A Tribute to Grant Green

I cannot say that I fell in love with the music of Grant Green on first hearing it. From the strait-laced period of mainstream jazz my preference was rather for Wes Montgomery, Jim Hall, Ed Bickert or Kenny Burrell. When I ventured back towards a more blues-oriented form of expression, Green's guitar licks started to feel less antiquated to me and became increasingly more captivating. Green certainly stands as one of the few iconic guitarists with an unmistakable technique whose fame continued to increase after his death. In the 1970’s he had almost disappeared from view and only with the renewed enthusiasm for jazz in the1990’s was the magic of his blues expression rediscovered. more ››

It was exactly during this period that I purchased his complete works and came to forgive him for all his imperfections. I began to appreciate the soul of his music and its universal roots far more than his legerdemain as a superficial end in itself. I had liked the blues even in my childhood and my peregrination via Jazz and Rock had brought me back again to its essence. For some time now I have been pondering over some project through which I could offer my tribute to Green. I also thought several times about cooperating with Najponk and on a few occasions this even occurred - on TV on the “Na Kloboučku” show, for example. I got an idea for this project when I had suffered a broken arm in the mountains and Najponk was filling in for me with my band, immediately on hearing the track “Just Closer Walk With Tee”. It is true that Green's music sounds simple, but I think we all wondered what its real degree of challenge is. As Jimi Hendrix once said, "Blues is not hard to play, but blues is really hard to feel". The objective of the project was not to identically reproduce Green’s songs and his style of playing and to record it in the same manner, but rather to obtain inspiration and, in that spirit, to create a distinct repertoire worthy of his memory. I hope that we succeeded, but I will leave it up to you to be the judge of that.

Roman Pokorny

Roman Pokorný

Roman Pokorný

JAZZ GUITARIST

He comes from a family of musicians. From his childhood he played drums, then bass guitar and finally his best-loved guitar. His professional career started in 1991. more ››


He gained his professional experience with different combos of soloists in Gustav Brom’s Big Band. He regularly featured in the groups of Mojmír Bártek, Jaromír Hnilička, Günter Kočí and others. Soon he got an opportunity with Boris Urbánek’s TUTU band. In 1994 he founded his own jazz quartet with Standa Mácha, Petr Dvorský and Marek Patrman that continues to present exclusively his own work. From that time on he was identified on the scene as a distinctive creative personality. He also collaborated with Emil Viklický, Michal Pavlíček, Albert Marsic, Osian Roberts, Laďa Kerndl, Juraj Bartoš, Gabo Jonáš, Štěpán Markovič, Karel Růžižka Jr., Bady Zbořil, Dan Bárta, Yvonne Sanchez, Steve Clark, Chris Stanley, Ben Riley, David Restivo and many others. To date he has released seven albums under his own aegis. He has been awarded many prestigious prizes, such as Zlatý Anděl (Golden Angel) for the Album of the Year (the Music Academy Award); two awards by the Czech Jazz Association: Jazzový Kája (Jazz Charlie) for the Best Group of the year (with the Roman Pokorný Trio) and also for the Album of the Year; the Best Guitarist by the Harmonie magazine; the best solo player at jazz festivals ... and others. He is currently probably the most interesting guitar personality on the Czech Jazz and Blues scene, including overlapping into other genres.

NajPonk

NajPonk

JAZZ PIANIST

NajPonk (Jan Knop) has played the piano since he was nine years old, since when he has also been obsessed with jazz. In 1990 he founded his own trio which later became the Najponk Q quartet. more ››


In 1995 he took first place in the International Jazz Piano Competition in Ostrava and later was invited to participate in the Czech Radio project “Tribute to Thelonious Monk”. The players with whom he has performed and collaborated during his career include Janusz Muniak, Dave Liebman, Piotr Baron, Osian Roberts and George Mráz. Whether as a soloist or playing in a trio, Najponk has performed at jazz festivals from Novosibirsk to Cheltenham in the west of England and he has also performed at the prestigious A- Trane Jazz Club in Berlin. From 1998 onwards his trio has been chosen on many occasions as the Band of the Year; in the Czech Jazz Society polls. He also received the prestigious Anděl Award of 2001 in the Jazz & Blues category for his solo album "Just About Love". His album "Going It Alone" was awarded a prize in 1999 based on a poll by Harmonie magazine. Prague Post wrote about his playing: "The pianist Najponk plays straight jazz, in which he creates inventive, original solos and alchemy that is pure magic. He is an exciting improviser, combining the freshness of Oscar Peterson with the eccentric brilliance of Thelonious Monk with the classic touch of Wynton Kelly and Red Garland."

Petr Dvorský

Petr Dvorský

DOUBLE BASS

He graduated from the Jazz Conservatory of Jaroslav Ježek in Prague and studied classical bass privately with Professor Jan Kment, Professor Václav Fuka and Professor Jiří Valenta. more ››


He entered the Czech jazz scene in 1990 as a member of The Four quartet with Karel Růžička Jr., Stanislav Mácha and Jiří Slavíček at its debut, at which they won the International Competition at the Jazz Festival in Karlovy Vary. In 1992 with the Pavel Wlosok Trio he took second place in the Jazz Juniors International Competition in Cracow, Poland. From that time onwards he collaborated with many other leading Czech and foreign jazz musicians, amongst whom can be mentioned, for example: Sandy Lomax, Mark Vinci, Steve Lacy, Randy Brecker, Jaroslav Jakubovič, Markus Printup, Ingrid Jensen, John Serry, Steve Houben, Juraj Bartoš, Gabriel Jonáš, Osian Roberts, MatúšJakabčic, Karel Růžička, Emil Viklický, Šěpán Markovič, Vojtěch Eckert, Luboš Andršt, Roman Pokorný, Najponk and others. During several consecutive years, he was nominated in the Czech Jazz Society poll for the Talent of the Year.

Martin Kopřiva

Martin Kopřiva

DRUMMER

Martin is one of the promising young personalities amongst the emerging generation of drummers. Born in Prague, in 1979 , he studied at the Conservatory of Jaroslav Ježek. more ››


Martin has been a member of many bands, amongst others Vítkovo kvarteto (Vítek’s quartet) and Veteráni studené války (Veterans of the Cold War). Currently, in addition to the ECLIPSE band, he also plays alongside Vladimír Kulhánek, Stanislav Kubeš and Roman Dragoun in the T4 band, is involved in two projects - Blues Box Heroes and Feeli'n The Spirit - with the master of the guitar, Roman Pokorný and also plays with the Lanugo band. He has also played in the bands Jan Kořínek and Groove, Med, von Medwey and others. Currently he is a highly sought-after sideman on the Czech music scene.