Monday 3 November 2014

Martha Elefteriadu (1980) Kresby Tuší

Another fantastic find from my friend, a Radka Toneff-like dark singer with a bit more exuberance and energy than the former who played with Martin Kratochvíl's famed Jazz Q and with extraordinarily progressive compositions by Michael Kocab, the famed Dezo Ursiny, and others.

From my friend, and bless him for discovering this unknown LP:

Martha Elefteriadu

Comes from a family of Greek immigrants, who fled from Greece because of the civil war and settled in the 1950s in the former Czechoslovakia. Herr mother died early in his childhood, and she grew up in the orphanage for Greek children. Martha, after high school graduation studied medicine, later moved to study Psychology, which she finished at the Charles University in Prague. This album is a reminder of East Europe's Sovjet controlled allowed music! Keyboards sound is horrible, especially solos!

After Carita Holmstrom, Radka Toneff, Petri Pettersson, I didn't think there was much hope of finding another unknown SSW album like this one... really some tracks here deserve to be well remembered if there is any musical justice at all in this ol' world, though as we know, there isn't.

When you check out the credits on discogs, notice that Michael Kocab leads the backing band, that famed progressive jazzist Jiri Stivin plays flute on here too, and that Ursiny provides backup vocals on track B3 which he also wrote, though it's unfortunately not of much interest, sounding like a bossa nova sung by the Andrews Sisters-- not a pleasant combo.

The first song in particular reminds me of Radka's Lorelei composition:

Notice the chords that Kocab used in this song.  Starting with an Esus7, we move to Dmin6 on F base, E half-dim with added 9, then E7, then a stunning jump down to what I think is D♭, which opens up a whole new world of flatted gemlike riches, including B♭ and A, then F and D7 are employed to transition from there back down to the beginning chord of Esus7.  As I've said before, such a unique chord sequence it's guaranteed no human invention had ever used such a series before.  What a joy of discovery to listen to this song and the skill with which Kocab plays a melody atop such wondrous surprises.  So different from the music of today where the standard progressions are used ad nauseam, the same ones that were mastered in pop music 100 years ago already....  And listen all the way to the end of the song, so you can hear the flight of fancy on the synthesizers which recalls to me the best work of Czesław Niemen such as on his Idee Fixe record... What a time that must have been when you could make such uncompromising music on a solo album!

And what a delight to rediscover, so many years later, this lost treasure!

The two sisters together made many albums back in the day: