Ta Jana

Do Pul Tela...

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Released three years afterTa Jana z Velké Ohrady's debut, Do Pul Tela... is the work of a group who has found its sound. Exit the overtly cabaret leanings and the ill-thought use of synthesizers. Instead Ta Jana ("the Jane") aims for a new form of acoustic song, rooted in the age-old jazz singer quartet (piano, double bass, drums) but laced with a pop sensibility and a touch of Czech folk. Her deep alto voice has more power and often charms and touches. Ivan Vojta replaces Vendelín Tuma at the piano, although the latter makes an appearance on accordion in "Jistá" and "Veda Samota." Martin Doktor Krajícek (of the Nahoru Po Schodisti Dolu Band) duets with Ta Jana in "Neco Mne Je (Názor Druhé Strany"). The quality of the songwriting has generally gone up several notches, with "Kolednice," "Na Vode," and "Elce Pelce" hitting peaks. The songs often bring to mind Tori Amos' first album in a slightly jazzier mood, an impression enhanced by the tortuous relationships and occasionally direct language found in the lyrics. Expect moving songs and that evanescent spark of imagination that puts Czech pop music in a league of its own (although not as drastically as in the case of Iva Bittová or Pavel Fajt). Lyrics and liner notes are offered in a shaky but still helpful English translation. This album is a discovery to be made.

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