The Abs (CZ)
Vít Beneš – guitar, Michal Šelep – double bass, Adam Sikora – percussion
On their website, the winners of the national Central European Jazz Competition mainly boast of their hardened musculature, but the jury that elected them realised full well that the tough masculinity of the Brno trio shelters sensitive souls with ingenious musical feeling.
The Abs have been about for a mere three years, established at the Janáček Academy in Brno, where they gave their first public performance at an interpretative workshop. The band’s inspirations include country, Delta blues, avant-garde movements of the second half of the twentieth century, and music from the African continent.
The double bassist Michal Šelep, guitarist Vít Beneš, and drummer Adam Sikora all study under experienced jazzmen, namely Jiří Slavík, David Dorůžka, and Kamil Slezák. At the same time, each of the three musicians is also earning their spurs with several other ensembles. The guitar trio The Abs brings fresh hope to the Czech and Slovak music scene. Because apart from an enthusiasm for body building and sturdy abdomens, they are united in their passion for music. The intelligent, communicative, and energetic ensemble captivates with its colourful sound, exploratory nature, and a well-measured dose of testosterone.
Peter Korman Quintet (CZ, SK)
Peter Korman – double bass, Marek Kotača – alto saxophone, Martin Konvička – piano, Kristián Kuruc – percussion
Slovak double bassist Peter Korman’s quartet is firmly rooted in modern jazz, though the inspirational sources of its founder have a broader scope. His compositions are woven with hints of Slovak folklore, classical music, soul, or African polyrhythms.
Experimenting with multiple concurrent rhythms and free-reigning improvisation are some of the main features of this Czech-Slovak group. Their compositions also draw on strong melodic motives, creating complex, groovy imagery.
The bandleader Peter Korman comes from a new generation of Slovak jazzmen. His early years are linked with Slovak folklore, which he explored for eight years while also studying the classical double bass at the conservatoire in Bánská Bystrica. He then applied for a course in the jazz double bass at the Janáček Academy in Brno and the Jazz Institut Berlin. He won Best Composition at the New Faces of Slovak Jazz competition and the Instrumental Performance Prize at the Czech Jazz Contest in Prague.