Martha Elefteriadu ‎– Kresby Tuší (1980)

Welcome back to you all! Needless to say, how thrill I am today with this spectacular album, a real kaleidoscope of genres brought you by one of the greatest artists in former Czechoslovakia. Getting to know her better, unfortunately, I noticed that this album was an odd point of alternation in its career, founded basically on Soul Beat and then Pop Folk.

Always side by side with her beloved sister, this unique solo entry has brought us so many colors that I wonder why she gave up on this very bold path. Anyhow, we present this one that should be revered as one of the milestone records from former Czechoslovakia and as if an entire constellation of musicians was not enough, its richness is present, in the arrangements, special participations, multiple orchestras, and lush atmosphere!

Does it look good to you? Because it is much more than you can imaginePřipravit Se!

Let’s go to our artist:

The Elefteriadu’s – the 50s

Martha Elefteriadu (September 12, 1946 Bulkes, Yugoslavia) is a Czech singer of Greek origin, half of the duo Martha a Tena, together with her sister Tena. Their family emigrated from Greece because of the Greek Civil War and settled in 1950 in former Czechoslovakia. Their mother died while they were children, so they grew up in orphanages, she spent her childhood with her sister, in many children‘s homes (more than five, actually), which were reserved for Greek refugees, including one in Ivančice.

At the end of the 1960s, the sisters met a guitarist Aleš Sigmund from band Vulkán, who helped them create strong creative and musical foundations. They worked in Vulkán between 1966 and 1970, partly with another sibling couple, Hana and Petr Ulrych.

Martha A Tena – 1969

Their first records are from 1968, in 1970 they released their first LP record with Panton Records Dál Než Slunce Vstává. They quickly established themselves in Czech Pop music also collaborating with many notable artists such as Skupina Aleše Sigmunda, Bob Frídl, Gustav Brom Orchestra, Pavel Novák, and Jiří Suchý. The gals managed to continuously be active reaching stardom throughout the 1970s with countless participations and prizes at festivals, musicals, plays, TV shows, and tours not only within Czechoslovakia. (!)

Live, in the 70s

By the end of the decade, they had already released more than 30 albums and compacts! Ranging between pop-folk and Greek music. Martha later studied psychology, while at the same time devoted yourself professionally to music, since then, both sisters have been the stars of Czech popular music. Martha and Tena enriched Czech culture with their southern temperament and Greek spontaneity. At present, they focus mainly on the interpretation of Greek folk songs, the teaching of Greek dances, cuisine, books and occasionally performing, their latest album came out in 2005, besides greatest hits records and such.

Let’s go to our album:

Sister Love

How to understand a record that did not have a tour, who faced major problems with the censorship, and with modest participation in sales charts could bear the 1981 album of the year by Melodia magazine? Despite all these, (at least the critics seem to get it by the time) Kresby Tuší (Ink Drawings) remains intact by the passage of time thanks to its multiple composers, lyricists, orchestras (!) and gala participation of musicians like Michael Kocáb (arranger), but also by Dežo Ursiny, Vladimír Mišík, Vladimír Merta and Oskar Petr.

Martha delivers us a fabulous variation of art-rock, jazz, fusion, bossa nova, funk and more. It feels lush, dark and dense all over, but it also has its (brief) sunny moments.

The ‘IM’ highlights are Hrál Sis Hrál and Vítám Slunce Ranní.

Tracks Include:

A1 Dvě Kresby Tuší I.
Lyrics By: Pavel Kopta
Music By: Michael Kocáb

A2 Měla Jsem Vždycky Smůlu
Lyrics By: Pavel Kopta
Music By: Dežo Ursiny

A3 Proměna
Lyrics By: Pavel Kopta
Music By: Vladimír Mišík

A4 Hrál Sis Hrál
Lyrics By: Pavel Fiala
Music By: Pavel Větrovec

A5 Výlet Po Řece
Lyrics By: Pavel Kopta
Music By: Michael Kocáb

A6 Kde? Kdy? Já A Ty
Written By: Vladimír Merta

B1 Mám Ráda Běh
Lyrics By: Pavel Kopta
Music By: Michael Kocáb

B2 Melancholická Noc
Lyrics By: Jiří Dědeček
Music By: Michael Kocáb

B3 Vítám Slunce Ranní
Lyrics By: Pavel Kopta
Music By: Dežo Ursiny

B4 Podzimní Odpoledne
Lyrics By: Martha Elefteriadu
Music By: Michael Kocáb

B5 Tohle Že Máš Být Ty?
Lyrics By: Martha Elefteriadu
Music By: Michael Kocáb

B6 Dvě Kresby Tuší II.
Lyrics By: Pavel Kopta
Music By: Michael Kocáb

Musicians

Acoustic Guitar, Harmonica, Vocals: Vladimír Merta (tracks: A6)
Bass Guitar, Contrabass: Ondřej Soukup
Drums: Ladislav Malina, Vratislav Placheta
Electric Piano, Piano, Synthesizer: Michael Kocáb
Guitar: Jiří Špidra, Martin Koubek
Percussion: Jiří Tomek
Harmonica: Ondřej Konrád

Backing Band (Studiová Skupina): Studiová Skupina Michaela Kocába

Oboe: Jiří Kaniak
Flute: Jiří Stivín
Clarinet: František Pušman
Alto Saxophone: Antonín Nachtman,  Miroslav Krýsl
Baritone Saxophone: František Kryka
Clarinet, Tenor Saxophone: Jan Kubík
Tenor Saxophone: Bedřich Kuník, Milan Ulrich
Trombone: Jiří Doubrava, Josef Pavelka, Mirko Koželuh, Svatopluk Košvanec
Trumpet: Jiří Hlava, Laco Deczi, Vlastimil Voňavka, Zdeněk Šedivý

Strings: Jan Mráček, Jiří Fišer, Jiří Rajniš, Květomír Řezníček
Strings, Orchestra: Smyčcový Orchestr Oliver Dohnányi
Violin: Jan Hrubý

Vocals: Dežo Ursiny (tracks: B3),
Hana Hostková-Löfflerová (tracks: A2),
Helena Viktorinová (tracks: B5),
Lída Nopová (tracks: A2), Marie Jakoubková (tracks: A2, B5),
Michael Kocáb (tracks: B1), Tena Elefteriadu (tracks: B3)

Conductor (Smyčcový Orchestr Řídí): Oliver Dohnányi

Arranged By: Michael Kocáb

Credits

Cover: Václav Šimice
Engineer: Jan Štěpánek, Petr Podlešák
Photography By: Taras Kuščynskyj
Producer: Ondřej Konrád
Recording Supervisor: Pavel Kühn, Svatoslav Rychlý

Notes

Panton ‎– 8113 0039

Record Company: Panton, Vydavatelství Českého Hudebního Fondu
Recorded At: Studio Smetanova Divadla
Pressed By: Gramofonové Závody

Nahráno ve studiu Smetanova divadla v Praze, 1979—1980

Dnešek

Modrý Efekt (Blue Effect) ‎– Nová Syntéza (New Synthesis) [1971]

Blue Effect

The Czechoslovak New Wave was an artistic movement in cinema which evolved out of the earlier Devětsil movement of the ’30s. Disgruntled with the communist regime that had taken over Czechoslovakia in 1948 coup d’état (!), students of the Film and TV School of The Academy of Performing Arts in Prague (also known as FAMU) became the dissenters of their time. Their statement at making films:

‘Make the Czech people collectively aware that they were participants in a system of oppression and incompetence which had brutalized and bureaucratized them all.’

This was partly because of a cultural and political reform that the country had undergone since 1962. During this time the filmmakers of the Czech new wave enjoyed a state-supported film industry, an interest in both domestic/international market (special interest in the USA) and relative artistic freedom.

Trademarks of the movement are long unscripted dialogues, dark and absurd humor, and the casting of non-professional actors. The films touched on themes which for earlier filmmakers in the communist countries had barely managed to avoid the objections of the censor: playful observation, visual poetry, biting sarcasm, gentle humanism, mocking absurdism, tender eroticism, and formal experimentalism.

The Czechoslovak New Wave differed from the French New Wave in that it usually held stronger narratives, and as these directors were the children of a nationalized film industry, they had greater access to studios and state funding.

The Fireman's Ball , 1967
The Fireman’s Ball, 1967

As Alexander Dubček came to power over the Communist Party in Czechoslovakia with plans to present ‘socialism with a human face’ through reform and liberalization (Prague Spring), the Soviet Union and their Warsaw Pact allies invaded to snuff out reform. The movement came to an abrupt end and Miloš Forman and Jan Němec fled the country; those who remained faced censorship of their work.

Notable directors: Miloš Forman, Věra Chytilová, Ivan Passer, Jaroslav Papoušek, Jiří Menzel, Jan Němec, Jaromil Jireš, Vojtěch Jasný, Evald Schorm and Slovak directors Dušan Hanák, Juraj Herz, Juraj JakubiskoŠtefan Uher amid others.

The Troupe
The Troupe

Let’s go to our artist:

One of the most popular Czech Rock bands with links to almost every known prog/jazz from the country, (the) Blue Effect from Prague were formed in 1968 by guitarist Radim Hladík and singer Vladimír Mišík, both from The Matadors.

The line-up included also bassist Jiří Kozel, drummer Vlado Čech and guitarist Miloš Svoboda, who quit the next year. In 1970 they released their psych/blues-influenced debut ‘Meditace’ on Supraphon along with the jazz-rock album ‘Coniunctio’ in collaboration with legendary ensemble Jazz Q.

The Matadors
The Matadors

At this time Mišík left to join Flamengo, he was replaced by singer/keyboardist Lešek Semelka. Renamed to Modrý Efekt they released their second work ‘Nova Syntezá’ in 1971 on Panton with the outstanding help of the Czechoslovakian Jazz Orchestra. The album shows the band taking a more artistic approach on their music, leaving the psych influences of their debut for a much more jazz-oriented sound.

The ’70s were their most active period, with at least nine studio albums, progressing to fusion/prog tinges, being its last release in 1981. Since 2010 the band was reactivated by Radim Hladík (only original member) and has a very active career.

Modrý Efekt
Modrý Efekt

Let’s go to our album:

An incredible Brass Orchestra with a sharp rock group coming from the Eastern side of Europe. The compositions are long and as the album unfolds, Hladík shows an incredible jazzy background on his guitar solos. The Czechoslovakian Jazz Orchestra seems often the leading force of the album: tons of melodic introductions, interventions, and counterpoints performed by a great mass of brass musicians!

The ‘IM’ highlights are Směr Jihovýchod and Blues Modrého Efektu.

Jauku Ceļojumu!

Tracks Include:

A1 Má Hra – My Game (Radim Hladík)

A2 Směr Jihovýchod – Southeast Bound (Lešek Semelka)

A3 Popínavý Břečťan – Clinging Ivy (Radim Hladík)

B1 Blues Modrého Efektu – Blue Effect Blues (Kamil Hála, Vlastimil Hála)

B2 Nová Syntéza – New Synthesis (Kamil Hála, Vlastimil Hála)

Credits

  • Bass Guitar: Jiří Kozel
  • Drums (Uncredited): Vlado Čech
  • Guitar: Radim Hladík
  • Orchestra, Performer: Jazzový Orchestr Československého Rozhlasu
  • Performer (Skupina): Modrý Efekt
  • Piano: Lešek Semelka
  • Trombone: Ladislav Pikart, Miroslav Koželuh
  • Trumpet: Václav Týfa

Conductor, Arranged: Kamil Hála

Artwork: Jaroslav Fišer

Photography: Alexandr Janovský

Engineer (Zvuková Režie): Milan Papírník

Recording Supervisor (Hudební Režie): Vlastimil Hála

Producer: Dr. Oskar Jelínek

Panton ‎– 11 0288

Alphonse Mucha, 1896
Alphonse Mucha, 1896

Eastern Female Mixtape ~ 2014

Prague Dreamers, 1968

After three Mixtapes last year, I was already missing a new one, and you? Whenever we try to do it, we try to leave a distinct mark either in the choice of artists or the era approached, well, this time we’ll leave the extensive biographies and contexts aside, these artists should appear soon in our galaxy, along with their full contents.

So, let’s get right to it: our dámské and its songs.

Halina Frąckowiak

1969
1969

Halina Frąckowiak & SBB – W Powszednie Dni / Geira (1977) / Polskie N. Muza

Halina Frąckowiak – Ide Dalej / Idę (1974) / Polskie Nagrania Muza

aka Sonia Sulin, born April 10, 1947, Poznán, Poland.

Singer, Composer, and Songwriter. Ex-Grupa ABC!

Kati Kovács

70's

Kati Kovács & Juventus – Add Már Uram Az Esöt! / Single (1972) / Pepita

Kati Kovács & Locomotiv GT – Szólj Rám, Ha Hangosan Énekelek / Kovacs, Kati (1974) / Pepita

Born Kovács Katalin, October 25, 1944, Verpelét, Hungary. Singer, Actress, Lyricist, Songwriter. Probably the most famous singer of Hungary, with dozens of recorded albums, awards, and presentations indoor/abroad, international recognition and a very active career until today. Hungarian musical critics have praised her raspy and strong voice, calling her ‘The Voice of Hungary’!

Marie Rottrová

70's

Marie Rottrová – Tisíc Tváří Lásky / Single (1971) / Supraphon

Marie Rettrová – Poslední Hemingwayova Fotka / Pěšky Po Dálnici (1977) / Supraphon

Born November 13, 1942OstravaHrušov, Czech RepublicSinger, Pianist, Composer, TV Presenter. The so-called Lady Soul!

Ex-The Majestic and Flamingo!

Marta Kubišova

1969, Clip
1969, Clip

Marta Kubišová – Tak Dej Se K Nám A Projdem Svět / Single (1969) / Supraphon

Marta Kubišová – Svlíkám Lásku / Single (1969) / Supraphon

Born November 1, 1942, České Budějovice, Czech Republic. Singer, Actress and TV Presenter. She was the most popular female pop singer in Czechoslovakia in the late ’60s. In 1967 she won Zlatý Slavík award (Golden Nightingale). Her song ‘Prayer for Marta’ became a symbol of national resistance against the occupation of Warsaw Pact troops in 1968. During the Prague Spring, she recorded over 200 (?!!) single records and one LP, Songy a Balady in 1969, which was immediately banned from stores. In 1970, the government falsely accused her of making pornographic photographs leading to a ban from performing in the country until 1989. (!)

Ex-Golden Kids!

Sarolta Zalatnay

sarolta zalatnay

Sarolta Zalatnay & Skorpio – Hadd Mondjam El / Same (1973) / Pepita

Sarolta Zalatnay & Metro – Zold Borostyán / …Ha Fiú Lehetnék (1970) / Qualiton

aka Charlotte Sachert, December 14, 1947, Budapest, Hungary. Famous controversial Singer, Actress, Writer, already known from previous posts here in ‘IM’check out our exclusive. Known as the Hungarian Janis Joplin!

We have an interesting study about the Rock development in the Eastern Bloc, from our homonyms friends which eventually will form the basis for other posts.

Be charmed by these mighty girls and bon vitage!

Metró, 1969
Metró, 1969

C and K Vocal – Generace (1977)

Cover

Czechoslovakia. With the collapse of the Habsburg monarchy at the end of WWI, the independent country of Czechoslovakia was formed, encouraged by, among others, U.S. President Woodrow Wilson. The Czechs and Slovaks were not at the same level of economic and technological development, but the freedom and opportunity found in an independent new country enabled them to make strides toward overcoming these inequalities. However, the gap between cultures was never fully bridged, and the discrepancy played a continuing role throughout the seventy-five years of the union.

The first republic led by Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk (politician, sociologist, and philosopher), a rationalist and humanist, lasted until the German occupation and settled the country in the 10th position of world industrial production. The second and third republic was shortened by the beginning of the communist era, after WWII in 1948.

Prague Nazi Occupation
Prague Nazi Occupation

Then, the economy was committed to comprehensive central planning and abolition of private ownership of capital. Czechoslovakia became a satellite state of the Soviet Union; it was a founding member of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (Comecon) in 1949 and of the Warsaw Pact (URSS’s response to OTAN) in 1955. The attainment of Soviet-style command socialism became the government’s avowed policy.

Although Czechoslovakia’s industrial growth of 170 percent between 1948 and 1957 was impressive, it was far exceeded by that of Japan and the Federal Republic of Germany (almost 300 percent). The 1960 Constitution declared the victory of socialism and proclaimed the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic.

De-Staliniziation had a late start in Czechoslovakia, in the early 1960s, the economy became severely stagnant, the industrial growth rate was the lowest in Eastern Europe. As a result, in 1965, the party approved the New Economic Model, introducing free-market elements into the economy. The KSČ (Communist Party of Czechoslovakia) ‘theses’ of December 1965 presented the party response to the call for political reform.

Alexander Dubcek
Alexander Dubcek

Democratic centralism was redefined, placing a stronger emphasis on democracy. The leading role of the KSČ was reaffirmed but limited. On January 5, 1968, the KSČ Central Committee elected Alexander Dubcek, a Slovak reformer, to replace Novotný as the first secretary of the KSČ. The most turbulent period since the war had begun, amongst the wanted reforms were the press freedom, the end of political monopoly (from Communist Party), the free party organization, religious tolerance, amid other measures that pointed to a radical democratization of Czechoslovakia.

The massive support from intellectuals, the society and countries like Yugoslavia left the URSS fearful with the end of their hegemony and on August 20, 1968, after refusing to attend a meeting at the Warsaw Pact.

These same troops from the alliance invaded the city of Prague, Dubcek was arrested and brought to Moscow, along with other Czech leaders.

Prague Spring
Prague Spring

The following months were marked by the peaceful resistance to the occupation from the population. Local radio broadcasts were brief stimulating resistance. Days after the seizure of Prague has triggered a general strike. The USSR tried unsuccessfully to arrange a collaborationist government, but the solidarity with the old leadership had become widespread. Dubcek returned to Prague and still remained for some time in office. But the reform plan was dropped in exchange for the withdrawal of troops.

In January 1969, a young man immolated himself publicly in the Czech capital, restarting a wave of demonstrations. But by that time, the hard-line Communist Party had recomposed. The favor of rapprochement with the USSR again took control of the party. The election of Gustáv Husák, in April 1969, which succeeded Dubcek, ended the short but significant movement known as the Prague Spring. The reforms would come just two decades later, with the crisis of the socialist bloc. (!)

21 Srpen 1968, Praha
21 Srpen 1968, Praha

Let’s go to our history:

In 1969, long-time collaborators Jiri Cerha and Ladislav Kantor had the idea to get together talented vocalists for a multi-timbered vocal ensemble, and so was born C&K Vocal. At first, their style was folk-based and they often participated in folk and country festivals. By 1973 though, with their new concert repertoire, they started exploring the rock. The line-up included Lubos Pospisil, Zdena Adamova, Milena Cervena and Helena Arnetova besides the two co-founders.

In 1976 they released an English Lp called Generation, which was mostly comprised of unique covers of rock artists such as Uriah Heep, Flamengo and Marek Grechuta. The Czech version was released a year later containing a considerable number of originals as well. The style was hard prog, quite similar to Flamengo but with voices replacing saxophones and strings/synths replacing Hammond.

Early C&K Vocal
Early C&K Vocal

The prog influence was likely brought to the band by guitarist Ota Petrina, who was a co-writer and producer and also the leader of the instrumental segment which included top Czech musicians such as Pavel Fort, Guma Kulhanek, Jan Kubik, and Anatoli Kohout. During the late ’70s and early ’80s, the band focused on audiovisual programs, combining music with photography, visual arts and film. They also recorded a considerable amount of singles and another English-sung Lp Growing Up Time.

During the late 80’s they recorded two more albums, Balada o Zemi (1985) and Causa Krysar (1989), the latter of which had a modernized 80s new wave sound but also abundant symphonic elements. Ladislav Kantor left the ensemble in 1990, but despite this, they have still been sporadically active.

Multi-Arts Ensemble
Multi-Arts Ensemble

Let’s go to our album:

Today’s record will leave the fans of choral and vocal techniques much impressed. With a large range of influences such as rock, prog, soul, jazz, Latin tinges, ballads, and an incredible backing band this is one of the musical gems that the Iron Curtain hid in those days. The Czech Republic has also a distinct mark in terms of arts: the Czech new-wave cinema, Franz Kafka, Gustav Mahler, Antonín Dvorak and many Cubist, Abstract and Surrealist painters, are just a few names of this underestimated society.

The ‘IM’ highlights are for: Rám Příštích Obrazů, a fantastic opening track, delivering complex harmonics in a carrousel of voices and soulful breathtaking conclusion, just brilliant! And Doky, Vlaky, Hlad A Boty, with resemblance of Flamengo’s sound (a dedicated post of them will be held), this brass-rock got some psychedelic riffs, sweet breakbeats, and a wholly tuned vocal performance.

Enjoy this commie rock act and Boa Viaxe!

Night Overview
Night Overview

Tracks Include:

A1 Rám Příštích Obrazů (music: V.Misik, lyrics: J.Kainar)

A2 Na Kraji (music: J.Cerha, lyrics: L.Kantor)

A3 Lásko, Lásko… (music: O.Petrina, lyrics: L.Kantor)

B1 Doky, Vlaky, Hlad A Boty (music: J.Kubik, lyrics: L.Kantor)

B2 Generace (Životopis) (music: J.Cerha, lyrics: L.Kantor)

B3 Vteřiny (music: J.Cerha, lyrics: L.Kantor)

B4 Chorovod (Korowód) (music: M.Grechuta, lyrics: L.A.Moczulski, L.Kantor)

Supraphon 1 13 2023

Credits

  • Alto Vocals – Helena Arnetová (tracks: A1, B2, B3), Milena Cervená
  • Guest, Soprano Vocals – Zdena Adamová (tracks: A2)
  • Mezzo-Soprano Vocals – Petra Janu (tracks: B2)
  • Tenor Vocals – Lubos Pospisil (tracks: A3, B1, B3)
  • Baritone Vocals –  Ladislav Kantor (tracks: B1, B4)
  • Bass Vocals (Bass-Baritone) – Jiri Cerha (tracks: A2, B1, B2)
  • Arranged By (Vocal) –  C & K Vocal (tracks: A1 to A3, B3, B4), Jiri Cerha (tracks: A2, B1, B2, B4), Ota Petrina (tracks: A3, B3)

Leader (C&K Vocal) – Ladislav Kantor

Backing Band – Labyrint

  • Bass Guitar – Vladimir Kulhánek (tracks: A1, A2, B1, B2, B4)
  • Drums, Percussion, Congas – Anatoli Kohout (tracks: A1, A2, B1, B2, B4)
  • Electric Piano, Organ, Piano, Percussion – Pavel Vetrovec (tracks: A1, A2, B1, B2, B4)
  • Guest, Bass Guitar – Vladimír Padrunek (tracks: A3)
  • Guest, Congas – Jiri Tomek (tracks: A2, B4)
  • Guest, Drums – Vlado Cech (tracks: A3)
  • Guest, Flute – Jiri Stivin (tracks: B2), Libor Mikule (tracks: B3)
  • Guest, Organ – Petr Dvorak (tracks: B3)
  • Guest, Synthesizer (Moog) – Jan Neckar (tracks: B2, B4), Martin Kratochvíl (tracks: A3)
  • Tenor Saxophone, Flute, Percussion – Jan Kubík (tracks: A1, A2, B1, B2, B4)
  • Arranged By (Instrumental), Electric Guitar – Pavel Fort (tracks: A1, A2, B1, B2)
  • Arranged By (Instrumental), Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar –  Ota Petrina (tracks: A3, B3, B4)
  • Leader (Labyrint) – Pavel Fort
  • Photography By – Vladimír Merta
  • Producer [Umělecká Spolupráce] – Hynek Zalcik

Notes

Released in collaboration with the Mladý Svět magazine, Discotheque of Mladý Svět edition series. Recorded at the Supraphon studio Dejvice, Prague, from December 16, 1974, to September 3, 1976.

Lately
Lately