Irena Budweiserova

Nekdy si Pripadám Jak Pták

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Irena Budweiserova's songs are not particularly striking, but her warm and flexible alto voice makes up for it, at least in part. The fact that she sings in Czech may offset a few listeners, especially since the tongue seems a bit harsh-sounding for intimate cabaret vocal jazz, but she manages to pull enough grace from the lyrics to wrap her voice into -- witness the rapture of the closing piano/voice duet "Nekdy si Pripadám Jak Pták." She is accompanied by Vit Fiala on double bass, and two guitarists doubling on percussion, Jaroslav Sindler and Miroslav Linka. A drummer, a saxophonist, and a keyboardist make guest appearances. The music ranges from soft-spoken country rock to light vocal jazz, with a couple of groovier tunes thrown in for good measure -- "Ranní Dovetek" adds drums and Hammond organ to the quartet for a hit-and-run variation on "Nocní Rozhovor" before reverting to cabaret jazz. The instrumentation can bring to mind Ta Jana, but Budweiserova lacks the latter's poignant lyrics and dramatic delivery. No, Nekdy si Pripadám Jak Pták is much more laid-back, suitable for a casual listen among friends. What is refreshing about this album is its lack of jazz or vocal standards. All songs are written by Budweiserova (except one by Linka) in collaboration with various lyricists.