Sunday 13 May 2018

Czech band SHQ (Motus 1972, Jazz Nebyeki 1973, Parnas 1982 and Karel Velebny's Nonet from 1968)

Thanks to Destroyer and his research for pointing out to me the Mini Jazz Klub series and those who helped out in the second last post, particularly the well known Simon in the following comment.  To be specific, he shared the numbers 4, 8, and 18.  If you listened to those you got a good idea of the whole series, since they range between excellent fusion (SHQ) and relatively innocuous big band by the numbers, e.g. Pratzky BB with Milan Svoboda (a familiar name, from the April Orchestra 32 masterpiece!!  In case you don't know, I posted that one here.)  And it gets worse: some of them are listed on discogs as dixieland jazz, words that to me are almost as atrocious as kazoo symphonies.

We'll likely be hearing more from this series, despite the fact you are paying the price of an LP for a few minutes of music here, at least the Czech record dealers are reliable and inexpensive, but what is most appealing is that it seems the releases contain non-LP material, new compositions.

I noticed No. 18 involved this band called SHQ which made a couple of albums in the early 70s that looked interesting.  Surprisingly there is more info than usual on discogs here:

Czech jazz combo, founded by Karel Velebný and Jan Konopásek in 1961 after both musicians quit the Czechoslovak Radio Dance Orchestra. The group name is an abbreviation of “Spejbl + Hurvínek Quartet/Quintet”; the Spejbl & Hurvínek Theatre in Prague was the group’s original employer. 
Note: Many group name variations have been used on releases or quoted in publications, but with the exceptions of a brief mid-1960s period without Karel Velebný (a combo also known as the Reduta Kvintet), all releases should be filed under this artist. That includes name variations like: S+HQ, SH kvartet, SH kvintet, SH/Jazz Quintet, Sága rodu SHQ, Happy Music SHQ, and others.

I included the nonet album from the late 60s with the above three, and found most to be a bit disappointing, for example in comparison to similar competitors Impuls, Energit, etc., and the Jazz Fables which looked so promising for a concept album, really was a downer.  The best track for me was the Anemones and Crabs:

Though each track has the unfortunate tendency to stay stuck in its tonic, this one in particular combines that with seemingly unnecessary wild digressions, like a Parkinsonian with occasional choreiform tendencies.  The Parnas album from the early 80s reverted back to acoustic general jazz and is probably for that reason unnecessary.  In the end, perhaps their best output was Simon's Mini Jazz Klub 18 from 1978, a clear tribute to the strength of this series.

I threw 'em all together in one file again.  Sorry about that, chief.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. File is no longer available. Can you please repost ?


  2. I've been a fan ever since I heard the album they released on ESP-Disk'. Just in case you're missing that one:

    Karel Velebný/SHQ (PF69) 1969-ESP Disk'

    Thanks for all the rest!

  3. Thanks Julian, the '73 album was new to me. I've always been partial to "Nude" on the '68 album as it reminds me of an imaginary late 60s TV theme about a detective :)

  4. Hi, i was looking in the net about thi record :

    without success, but luckily enough i discovered your nice blog ! Think i'll spend a bit of time investigating !

    Thanx anyway & greetings from Italy

  5. Ok, be patient, i'm dizzy, only after :-/ i've seen the comment from above by the cool rev.b, and i was ascending, but too soon, 'cause i downloaded the file but it seems corrupted :-(
    is it me?
    if not, someone can re-upload the Karel Velebný/SHQ (PF69) 1969-ESP Disk' ?
    Thanx in advance :-)

  6. Um iosonounaltro..... the album you seek is just two comments up.....

    1. Cheers, rev.b!
      Thanx very much for your effort, but i tried to download the file several times and always got the message "Can not open file <...> as archive"
      Is it me ?
      Greetings from Italy :-)

    2. ok, it was me... :-/...resolved with another software, strange album, thanx very much :-)