July 24, 2024

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CD review: Mr. Lovo – Node 2022: Video, CD cover

The band was formed in 2020 by friends who had been searching for their individual music expression for a while. Eventually, Mr. Lovo was a result of their mutual love for creative and experimental approaches to music.

Through a period of cover versions of various artists mainly from jazz-rock / fusion and funk, they developed their unique expression and started making their original music. If the listener is curious enough, they are in for an unusual ride. Colourful sonic landscapes are full of riddles asking for musical solutions which might surprise the ears, but luckily end up being pleasing, satisfactory and harmonious.

Although the five musicians are all strong individuals and creative forces in their own right, they fall into the jigsaw like pieces into a mosaic resulting in the very strong synergy which is Mr.Lovo. After a period of live concerts, they recorded a live stream concert followed by their debut album released in 2022. They started to cooperate with Musicraft in the same year.

Group of Czech musicians Mr. In June of this year, Lovo released its debut album “Node”, which it baptized some time ago in the Prague club Café V Lese. The act delves into the sound world of fusion and jazz-rock, and is a fresh entry in its genre, but the songs from it have perhaps a little more potential live.

Project Mr. Lovo was founded in 2020 and its members are Ladislav Výmola (guitar), Petr Venkrbec (saxophone, synthesizers, wind controller), Martin Poledna (piano, synthesizers), Rumil Kofta (bass guitar) and Libor Orel (drums). Each of the musicians represents a unique musical personality, and as they state on their website, they got together as a group of friends who had been looking for each other musically for some time.

“Node” includes several positions from lyrical melodies, layering and combinations of colored sound surfaces, expressive rhythmic moments and improvisation. The sound syntheses of winds (wind controller) by Petr Venkrbec, which are tastefully combined in motifs with guitar or bass guitar, are a very pleasant diversion.
The biggest damage of the album and the de facto author’s approach to the songs is perhaps the too frequent fixation on groove and improvisation in small harmonic areas. This works perfectly live, as we could see at the recent concert associated with the launch of the debut CD, but as a studio product it starts to seem mechanical and schematic rather quickly (“ASAP”, “Who Knows”).

Each of the players is an excellent musician with a creative musical approach, and it is a bit of a shame that this synergy was not manifested more in the arrangements and forms. Seemingly paradoxically, the shorter, but more formally elaborate pieces of the album such as “Look What” or “Lucky Charm” sound the most progressive.

What was not, can be. mr. In any case, Lovo is a very tasteful project of excellent musicians, whose strong side is especially evident in live interpretation, and who definitely found themselves. Both on the album and (even more so) in concert, they radiate modesty and passion for playing, discovering and combining sounds, which seems sincere and sympathetic. It is true that strong, graduated moments and solos are always easier to lose in the studio, but for the quintet this can only be a positive challenge to work on in the future.

I’ll be answering backwards. We are working on 2023: Mr. Lovo – Whatever Title. The music keeps arising and sooner or later we will do the same thing as we did in 2021-22. Put it on a record. It will be different, but I hope we’ll keep what makes Node an album I like: It is one of the few records I have participated on which I can listen to almost anytime again. It is live and it is studio at the same time. It was mixed by someone who loves jazz but doesn’t play it or usually mix it, which takes the sound far from being academic. The tunes are very different in character, yet they all have that gluing Lovo’s feel. It is a real footprint of what the band is, which is difficult to describe, for me, it’s something like a musical home where things are possible. In some review, there was a reproach that the forms follow the ‘theme – solo – theme’ progression too much. Thinking ‘Isn’t most of jazz like it?’, I was swinging between two opposite emotions – disapproval and honour – and finally took it as a very intricate compliment. And, being it a CD, I love the cover as well. What’s nice about it, it wasn’t me. The story went like this: A few years ago I left Prague with slight disappointment of the showbiz atmosphere. I took an ordinary job in a small town in the Highlands, my horn hung up, collecting dust. And suddenly there was a surprise telephone call: “Are you the man who plays the sax?” at the other end, “And wouldn’t mind a bit of jazz with us?” Of course I wouldn’t mind, I love the music. The sax got dusted, together with my beloved woodwind synth, and soon all that materialized in a fusion of five characters who love their different, but beautifully aligning personal fusions. Mr. Lovo is a band which does not need a leader, image, style definition or make-up. A band which basically requires from me only one thing – something I haven’t experienced much so far – just being myself,- an interview with me said Petr Venkrbec.

1. ASAP
2. Bluest Eye
3. Look What
4. Who Knows
5. Lucky Charm
6. Ms. Lovo

Petr Venkrbec sax, synth, wind controller
Martin Poledna piano, synth
Ladislav Výmola guitar
Rumil Kofta bass
Libor Orel drums

New CD – 2022 – Buy from here