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Mahagon – Mahagon  [1978]

Mahagon – Mahagon (1978) [MP3]

Genre: Jazz-Rock
Release date: 1978
Length: 39:27
1. Dny, měsíce a roky – 3:07
2. Moře klidu – 5:17
3. Člověk kybernet – 4:32
4. Sen o zemi – 1:45
5. Oči nevidomých zrcadel – 4:12
6. Písečné přesypy – 3:54
7. Půlnoční – 6:30
8. Dívka s jablky – 3:12
9. Obrazárna – 6:58

Mahagon biography:
Mahagon started life as a folk duo in the early 70s, founded by Petr Klapka and Jan Hála. Soon enough their musical direction changed towards funk-rock similar to Chicago and the line-up expanded to include brass and woodwind instruments. In 1976, Klapka's wife, Zdena Adamova (ex-C&K Vocal) joined them, at which point the band started flirting with pop, as evidenced on their singles at the time. However their self-titled debut LP from 1978 was vintage fusion, with some funky leanings as well. The compositions themselves suggest early Return to Forever, an influence amplified by similar instrumentation that is dominated by rhodes, flute and female vocals. A second album entitled "Slunečnice pro Vincenta van Gogha" (Sunflowers for Vincent Van Gogh) followed in 1980, though this one was leaning towards the pop side of things. In 1981, Klapka and Adamova emigrated to the U.S., leaving the project in dust.


1978 - Mahagon
1980 - Slunečnice pro Vincenta van Gogha

Large Czech jazz rock ensemble that cut two albums in the mid-70s for Supraphon. The band incorporates vocals, horns, and high energy electric violin, guitar and keys. When the vocals die down this first album locks into a groove displaying some real bitchin' fretwork. The electric piano lends a RTF/Corea feel. This first disc is packed with bonus tracks. 1980's follow up album features the devastating guitarwork of Michael Pavlíček and Michael Kocáb's electric keyboard wizardry. I wish the babe would tone down the vocals a bit but when she steps out of the way this band really soars. So its an exhaustive presentation of an overlooked Czech fusion gem.

The band was the brainchild of bass player, composer and arranger Petr Klapka while he studied composition at the Prague Conservatory. In the 1973 he founded Mahagon initially as a singer/songwriter folk duo with his classmate and future Bohemia keyboarder Jan Hála. But soon they became influenced by popular brass-rock groups like Blood Sweat & Tears or Chicago, thus the line-up logically expanded to a much larger combo.

Klapka usually had an excellent taste in choosing his sidemen: one of the first lead singers was “Mr. Soul” himself, Michal Prokop. Unfortunately that period remained undocumented on records. On the Mahagon debut album, recorded in 1977, you can hear for example Klapka’s schoolmate Michael Kocáb on keyboards, ETC members Jiří Jelínek on guitar (who died tragically soon thereafter) and violinist Jan Hrubý, as well as a large horn section around jazz saxophonist Jiří Niederle.

At that time a significant number of the players were also members of the Prague Big Band (Pražský big band) of keyboarder MILAN SVOBODA, yet another Klapka’s schoolmate from the conservatory.

After adding his wife and ex-C&K Vocal singer Zdena Adamová to the line-up in 1976, Klapka occasionally began to slip into the pop music genre. He featured Adamová on several Supraphon and Panton seven inch sides between 1976 and 1979.

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