GEORGE HASLAMbaritone sax, tarogato STEFANO PASTORelectric violin, kalimba JAN FAIXsynthesizer,melodica JOZEF LÁSKAupright bass, bass guitar JAN ŠIKLdrums
I’ve had the opportunity to work in Czech Republic since first invited there in 2002 by MilošLatislav, Czech National Radio, in a new Prague based group ‘The FreeTime Quartet’. Since then I have maintained contact with the members of the quartet and been fortunate to play with many other great Czech musicians. On this live recording from 2010, Josef Láska is the only member of the original quartet in a new group, again assembled by Milošto play a short tour with Stefano Pastor and myself. It was a great delight to meet and play with Jan Faix and Jan Šikl on this tour. I first met Stefano Pastor in 2006 through SLAM Productions CD label, we later toured Italy and UK together and of course Czech Republic. This recording came to me10 years after the gig; I remember well the venue, a small cellar club in Vinohrady, I played there several times. I was delighted to hear the recording and grateful to Milošfor getting it to me and for his work in the production.
For almost 20 years it has been a great experience to meet and perform with such Czech musicians as well as those from other countries for whom Czech Republic has proved to be an attractive and stimulating place to live and create.
Also available through all digital outlets, including:
Compositions by Haslam, Pastor, Faix, Láska & Šikl
Recorded by Alex Tomin, Rybanaruby,Prague, 10 September 2010. mastered by: Miloš Latislav cover by:Jan Polanský
FOR the veteran baritone saxophonist and jazz internationalist George Haslam, Loveland is synonymous with the Czech Republic. This live quintet album, recorded in a small club in Prague, features Haslam and violinist Stefano Pastor with Czech musicians drummer Jan Sikl, keyboardist Jan Faix and Jozef Laska on bass. Haslam has a deep, lyrical tone, expressed from his first solo notes onward in Waiting and he also plays tarogato, a woodwind instrument used in Hungarian and Romanian folk music. His resonating baritone surge in Landing makes a stark contrast with the virtuoso Pastor and his seething electric violin and the empathetic rhythms of his Czech confreres, with the violinist taking flight on Pastorale, his notes soaring skyward. Haslam maintains that the Czech Republic is " a stimulating place to live and create" and the proof is in this album, forged by musicians determined to touch the stars. Chris Searlehttps://morningstaronline.co.uk/article/c/album-reviews-44
Un coinvolgente live registrato a Praga nel 2010. L’inglese George Haslam col suo baritono e tarogato, ad imbastir un brillante dialogo impro, con il violino e la kalimba di Stefano Pastor (diversi cd sulla label Slam del britannico sassofonista, più svariate date insieme fra Italia, Cecoslovacchia ed Inghilterra), il basso e contrabbasso di Jozef Láska del Freetime Quartet (con Haslam in formazione, vedi l’ultimo intrigante "Lamps. Clocks and Towers"), il synth e la melodica di Jan Faix e la batteria di Jan Šikl. Cinque composizioni istantanee mediamente lunghe (la più breve di quasi dieci minuti), fatte di ampi spazi e divagazioni non oppressive (di particolar pregio l’azione di Pastor e l’elettronica fra acidi settanta e movimentazioni sul fondo di Faix), con la base ritmica che ricama, tra scomposizione e tradizione. Su tutto la spirituale espansione noir di Loveland. Marco Carcasihttps://www.kathodik.org/2021/04/15/george-haslam-e-friends-loveland/
GOOGLE TRANSLATE: An engaging live recorded in Prague in 2010. The Englishman George Haslam with his baritone and tarogato, to strike up a brilliant impro dialogue, with the violin and the kalimba of Stefano Pastor (several CDs on the British saxophonist's Slam label, several dates together between Italy, Czechoslovakia and England), the bass and double bass by Jozef Láska of the Freetime Quartet (with Haslam in formation, see the latest intriguing "Lamps. Clocks and Towers"), synth and melodica by Jan Faix and drums by Jan Šikl. Five instant compositions on average long (the shortest of almost ten minutes), made of wide spaces and non-oppressive digressions (of particular value the action of Pastor and the electronics between seventy acids and movements on the bottom of Faix), with the base rhythmic that embroider, between decomposition and tradition. Over all the spiritual noir expansion of Loveland.
GEORGE HASLAM & FRIENDS with STEFANO PASTOR / JAN FAIX / JOZEF LASKA / JAN SIKL - Loveland (Slam 335; UK) Featuring George Haslam on bari sax & taragato, Stefano Pastor on electric violin & kalimba, Jan Faix on synth & melodica, Jozef Laska on acoustic & electric bass and Jan Sikl on drums. I recently received an email from saxist & Slam-label founder, George Haslam, letting me know that he was bringing the longtime lasting Slam label to a close with this release. The label started in 1989 and has released some 250+ releases, many of which include some of the cream of UK improvisers: Elton Dean, Paul Dunmall, Lol Coxhill and Szilard Mezei. One of the best things about Slam is that have become an outlet for the many different projects that Mr. Haslam is involved with, featuring musicians from around the world: Italy, Argentina, Cuba and Czechoslovakia. For this disc, Mr. Haslam has brought together a unique quintet with Stefano Pastor (Italian violinist who has worked with Haslam previously) plus three musicians from the Czech Republic. This disc was recorded live in Prague in September of 2010. This disc starts off with an unaccompanied taragato solo, solemn, eerie. Soon, the rest of the band floats in: synth, kalimba (thumb piano), el. bass and drums. This sounds like a Gong-ish space jam, a great way to begin our journey. The Czech-based synth-led rhythm section is strong, tight and inspired. The next solo comes from Stefano Pastor’s electric violin. Jan Faix’ synth (electric keyboard) sounds like an electric piano or clavinet or mutant blend of both. Mr. Faix also takes a great Sun Ra-like (ring modulated) electric piano solo. "Landing" begins with some subdued kalimba, el. bass and synth all simmering together. Mr. Laska sounds like he is playing a fretless electric bass and his playing is often at the center of what is going on here. As keyboardist Jan Faix solos, the sound of his synth slowly changes, eventually he switches to a melodica, the sound becomes more haunting. On "Pastorale", the jam gets back into a Gonglike space groove with early jazz/rock electric piano, furious, processed el. bass and burning drums. When Haslam’s bari sax & Pastor’s el. violin enter, things head out to space. This free improv at its best, the quintet often sounds as if they’ve been working together for a long while. I am saddened to see the Slam label come to an end yet it is befitting that they end with such a strong date as this. After our grand journey to outer space we come in for a soft landing. - Bruce Lee Gallanter,DMG Newsletter for April 23rd, 2021
An old, but new, recording. Recorded in 2010 but just released. A recording I am looking forward to for a couple of reasons. Always good to hear George Haslam, and I am really looking forward to hearing a kalimba in this context as I have played it in a free jazz context. And I have not been disappointed. Haslam is his usual self, adding to this quartet, who clearly enjoy playing together. The different instruments provide a very different tonal setting, with very interesting contrasts. The taragato is a form of saxophone with a bit of a shrill sound. The melodica adds lovely melodic lines as well as great harmonies while the violin and kalimba add great accompaniments. On Landing they get into a nice bluesy groove with Haslam playing a great melody with great accompaniment by all, before getting back to a free exchange. Pastorale, which is anything but, begins with a long solo by Haslam on the tarogato, before being joined by the others. Rather than a pastorale, it ended up more like a storm. But then there is a thunderstorm movement in Beethoven’s Pastoral symphony. Loveland is the longest track with some excellent playing by Haslam and what sounds like a bass, which provides a great solo and great accompaniment. Over all this is a very interesting recording. It takes a while to get used to the different instrument combinations, but once that is accomplished, just sit back and listen. I have just two minor criticisms. One is I would like to have heard Sikl in a more forward role and the same goes for the kalimba. Would love to have a heard a good kalimba solo. Bernie Koenighttp://nebula.wsimg.com/0349f1264343a43cc280a557c9558911?AccessKeyId=972E417EFD7ED6ED057A&disposition=0&alloworigin=1
Rybanaruby is part café, part live music venue, part shop, where music, both live and recorded, is on sale from the basement. George Haslem’s music, though, can hardly be considered ‘underground’ these days, nor even 10 years ago when this recording was made. Haslam continues to explore beyond the boundaries of jazz as we know it: the piercing shrillness of the tarogato and the sheer immensity of the baritone saxophone’s tonal stature seeming to lend themselves quite naturally to his forward inclination towards ever-developing improvisation.
Stefano Pastor has an expressive style which is sometimes jittery, perhaps because of his use of guitar strings instead of those for the violin. These will of course deliver a different kind of timbre. He too continues to learn more of his instruments and to strive to understand what else can they do to help with his configurations and inventiveness.
Keys, bass and drums all contribute to the opulence of these contemplative sentiments and all participants are clearly striving to reveal the creative power, imagination, inspiration and originality in the central carcass of the entire body of this music. Haslam and Pastor pair well as two gifted performers who thoroughly comprehend their instruments and have a firm grasp of where and how they can use them.
Reviewed by Ken Cheethamhttps://www.jazzviews.net/george-haslam--friends---loveland.html
Questa incisione è tratta da un concerto live, tenuto nel 2010 a Praga nella Repubblica Ceca. George Haslam al sax baritono ed al tarogato suona dal 2002 insieme a musicisti locali, qui è in un breve tour insieme a Stefano Pastor al violino e ad una ritmica costituita da Jan Faix al sintetizzatore ed alla melodica, Jozef Láska al contrabbasso e basso elettrico e Jan Šikl alla batteria. Sono settanta minuti piuttosto variegati in cui si ascolta la tipica energia di un concerto live, con momenti molto intensi, a volte si va sul free, mentre alcuni assoli al sintetizzatore di Faix ricordano a volte Joe Zawinul nelle sue esecuzioni più avventurose. La musica scorre supportata bene dalla ritmica, bravo Láska al basso elettrico, che fa da propulsore alle idee di Haslam e Pastor. Le composizioni sono eterogenee come ispirazione, ma conta poco, il quintetto è in sintonia reciproca e l’energia che riversano nelle esecuzioni si trasmette subito all’ascoltatore. Pastorale ed il finale Whither Tomorrow? sono ricchi di momenti free, in cui il sassofono ed il violino trovano un’inconsueta intesa con i suoni elettronici. Un disco fresco, senza troppe elucubrazioni, in cui tutto scorre senza inibizioni. Vittorio lo Conte http://www.musiczoom.it/?p=32262#.YETDMJ37S1t
GOOGLE TRANSLATE: This recording is taken from a live concert, held in 2010 in Prague in the Czech Republic. George Haslam on baritone sax and tarogato has been playing since 2002 with local musicians, here he is on a short tour with Stefano Pastor on violin and rhythm. consisting of Jan Faix on synthesizer and melodica, Jozef Láska on double bass and electric bass and Jan Šikl on drums. There are seventy rather varied minutes in which you listen to the typical energy of a live concert, with very intense moments, sometimes you go free, while some solos on Faix synthesizer sometimes remind Joe Zawinul in his most adventurous performances. The music flows well supported by the rhythm, Láska good at the electric bass, which is the propeller to the ideas of Haslam and Pastor. The compositions are heterogeneous in terms of inspiration, but it matters little, the quintet is in harmony with each other and the energy they pour into the performances is immediately transmitted to the listener. Pastoral and the Whither Tomorrow ending? they are full of free moments, in which the saxophone and the violin find an unusual understanding with electronic sounds. A fresh record, without too many speculations, in which everything flows without inhibitions. Vittorio lo Conte http://www.musiczoom.it/?p=32262#.YETDMJ37S1t
Haslam’s taragoto creates an otherworldly mood on the solo intro to "Waiting" before Laska’s electric bass starts a free form swirl of sounds that is stirred by Faix’s synthesizer spoon. Laska introduces "Landing" with some wondrous electric tones with third world travels contributed by Pastor’s kalimba as the team floats like a desert sand storm. Mourning tones and conversant violin work makes for a gentle "Loveland" while a palpable baritone reaches deep into magma along with dreamy synthesized textures pulsated by Sikl on the impressionistic "Whither Tomorrow". Audible impressions with many colors and textures George W. Harris • https://www.jazzweekly.com/2021/03/george-haslam-friends-loveland-slam-march/