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THE BLUE EFFECT & THE JAZZ Q PRAGUE: CONIUNCTIO

Blue Effect (Modrý Efekt; M. Efekt)

Jazz Rock/Fusion


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Blue Effect (Modrý Efekt; M. Efekt) The Blue Effect & The Jazz Q Prague: Coniunctio album cover
3.65 | 63 ratings | 8 reviews | 29% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection


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Studio Album, released in 1970

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Coniunctio I (19:15)
2. Návstěva U Tety Markéty, Vypití Sálku čaje / A Visit To Aunty Margaret For A Cup Of Tea (6:00)
3. Asi Půjdem Se Psem Ven / Perhaps We'll Probably Take The Dog Out (7:15)
4. Coniunctio II (7:15)

Total time 39:45

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Radim Hladík / guitar, sound Fx
- Jiří Kozel / bass (1,2,4), bells
- Vlado Čech / drums (1,2,4)

With The Jazz Q Prague (1,3,4):
- Martin Kratochvil / piano, organ, trumpet
- Jiří Stivín / flute (solo track 2), Hawaiian flute, piccolo, alto saxophone, wood blocks, sound Fx
- Jiří Pellant / double bass
- Milan Vitoch / drums, harness bells

Releases information

Artwork: Mikulás Medek (painting) with Stanislav Dvorský (design)

LP Supraphon ‎- 1 13 0845 (1970, Czechoslovakia) Stereo
LP Supraphon ‎- 0 13 0845 (1970, Czechoslovakia) Mono

CD Bonton ‎- BON 503100 2 (2001, Czech Republic) Remastered by Oldřich Slezák

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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BLUE EFFECT (MODRÝ EFEKT; M. EFEKT) The Blue Effect & The Jazz Q Prague: Coniunctio ratings distribution


3.65
(63 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(29%)
29%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(32%)
32%
Good, but non-essential (23%)
23%
Collectors/fans only (15%)
15%
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)
2%

BLUE EFFECT (MODRÝ EFEKT; M. EFEKT) The Blue Effect & The Jazz Q Prague: Coniunctio reviews


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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by snobb
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Fantastic early jazz-rock album, combining two greatest Czech bands - Blue Effect and Jazz Q Praha. Second and last studio release still released by Blue Effect under such English name ( later under Socialist Czech government pressure they changed name for Modry Effekt, or just M Effekt).

Just four compositions, but what a bright, fresh and energetic free-jazz chaos they play there! Blue Effect, being a power trio with blues-rock roots, brings heavy electric guitar (by excellent guitarist Radim Hladik) and very energetic rock-jamming atmosphere. Jazz Q Praha is jazz quartet at his very early step mixing free jazz improvisation with jazz-rock knocking on the door ( the year is 1970). Their participation gave excellent flute, organ, acoustic piano and very free atmosphere as great addition to Blue Effect's power trio better structurized sound. (By the way, Jazz Q Praha flautist Jiří Stivín will participate on later Blue Effect albums).

Unique combination of two great components - free-jazz quartet and blues-rock based jamming power trio, both on their very early steps to fresh-born jazz fusion - gave very informal musicianship and have some pros against both band's later, more matured albums.

Absolute must have recordings for everyone interested in Eastern European jazz fusion roots. Originally released as LP in Czechoslovakia only, now it is available as Sony CD re-release.

Really 4,5!

Review by Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars 4.5 stars. This is what happens when two legendary bands get together to record an album. BLUE EFFECT who are a trio at this point (as the vocalist / flute player from the debut is gone) join forces with JAZZ Q in what has to be an unprecidented event. I've just never heard of two bands at this level doing this before for a whole album. It's also not what I was expecting at all music-wise.This is Avant-garde and very challenging.This is definitely for the adventerous music lover.

"Coniunctio I" is the over 19 minute side long suite to get us warmed up. Actually i'm sweating when this one ends. It explodes to begin with in a very Avant-garde way as dissonant sounds fill the air. Very chaotic then it settles in before a minute with guitar standing out. Nice. Check out the bass before 2 1/2 minutes.Then it starts to build like a slow moving train with organ and horns helping out. Sax before 4 minutes. The guitar solos after 7 minutes then we get a calm with flute a minute later. Piano replaces the flute after 10 1/2 minutes and then turns discordant. Guitar and drums are back after 12 minutes. Flute joins in too. Some great sounding bass after 16 minutes then it turns avant once again.

"A Visit To Aunty Margaret For A Cup Of Tea" opens with flute and other sounds then the tempo picks up a minute in. The guitar sounds great 2 minutes in then it settles back with flute but not for long as contrasts continue throughout. Excellent track. "Perhaps We'll Probably Take The Dog Out" opens in a dissonant way with drums, horns and piano. Check out the drumming 3 minutes in. Intense section. It then settles before 4 minutes before the intensity returns. "Coniunctio II" opens with guitar and flute then drums join in as it builds. Some nice bass too. It turns wild before 5 1/2 minutes then settles back as the guitar solos and drums pound. The insane finish did not come as a surprise (haha).

A tough album to digest at times but man this is a blast. This may turn into a 5 star record for me in the future. It did.

Review by Seyo
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars This was a painful listening for me! As a newcomer to this Czech legendary band, I was led by relatively high marks of this album here on PA. I love jazz-rock. But I don't like "Coniunctio". Perhaps I should start somewhere else in the MODRY EFEKT catalogue. There is too much soloing, too much improvising and too much technical approach to the instrumental part of the album. I can't hear much consistent ideas or melodic developments so I was bored to death! I am sure they are a great band but this album just don't stick on me. I guess this is only for devoted fans of all sorts of jazz-rock experimentation. The only decent track here is "Návstěva u tety Markéty, vypití ?álku čaje". The remaining stuff is music for musicians and I am not the one.

PERSONAL RATING: 2/5

Review by octopus-4
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR RIO/Avant/Zeuhl & Neo Teams
3 stars Totally different from the debut that was almost all made of blues, this album marks a sudden change in the band's direction.

The album is opened by a side long track: "Coniuctio I" which has still some blues inside but it's more hard. It would be more correct speaking of two different tracks joined together. I really don't hear any Jazz or Fusion in the first half. This is almost a psychedelic long track which contains chaotic parts, rock parts and also a flute solo in a Ian Anderson style (but without the folk tunes). Only when the bass replaces the flute at minute 10, it sounds like free jazz, of good quality too. The piano parts are chaotic and turn into less eclectic with guitar and flute.

The second track starts with a Canterbury flavour due to strings and flute, but many parts are more bluesy with psychedelic suggestions. Similar to early Caravan, just more rock.

"Perhaps we'll probably take the dog out". Perhaps and probably sound strange in the same sentence, but regardless the title, this is free jazz. It's a kind of music that requires some excercise from the listener. If youare not familiar with it I suggest to avoid concentrating on a single instrument and try to take pleasure from the ensemble. Let the music flow to your neck.

"Coniucto II" is the only track which can be defined as 100% Jazz Rock Fusion. It contains some blues, too and the general sensation is like Soft Machine meeting the Cream.

It's still a non-essential album, even if it's more mature and experimental than the debut, so I'm rating it with three stars, but in any case is a good album and if you like bop or other cold forms of jazz you won't be disappointed.

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Metal Team
3 stars Blue Effect's second album is entirely different from their more streamlined symphonic sound of later years. Actually it's a clash between the acid blues-rock of their beginnings and another Czech band, Jazz Q Praha, a renowned local free jazz ensemble. The result is a sizzling album, brimming with chaotic tension and excitement. Much of it may seem like a terrifying slab of seemingly random noise but it's so vibrating with life and conviction that it remains entirely captivating.

The first track takes up half the album and is my favorite, it takes 7 minutes till it launches into a wild guitar solo. What preceded was pure sonic attack, bordering on free-jazz but with loads of rocking energy added into it. The rhythm section reminds of Led Zeppelin, with chunky bass and big pounding drums. Track2 is more melodic and traditional, bluesy in a Captain Beefheart sort of way. Track3 and 4 are largely free-jazz based jams with organs and sax clashing against guitars and drums.

Cool stuff. Approach at own risk.

Review by GruvanDahlman
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars The fifth album I explore by Modry Efekt is actually quite an amazing one. Coming off the blues and heading straight into this jazz rock-thing impresses me immensely. At first I listened only casually, on low volume, thinking it must be my future favorite by the band. When re-discovering it with headphones on I soon realised that it may not be.

The music on Coniunctio is very experimental and of it's time. The free form experiment on here is a bit much for me to swallow. The title track is cuirously enough a strange brew of free form and some sort of sturcture, which makes it all the more puzzling. The second track is slightly more conventional and the only track I truly enjoy. The remainng two is harder to digest.

I like the sound of the album, that is the sound of early 70's jazz rock with flutes and organ and whatnot. The problem for me lies more in the lack of structure. To me it becomes simply an exepriment in free form and I am not there. Yet, anyway. Maybe I will sometime change my mind but for now it is not really suited for my taste.

As a result of that, I will give the album two stars for the musical content and one star for the great effort and sound. If I want to listen to free form I will listen to Coniunctio, and I am going to return to it many more times to see if I grasp it. Until then, three stars.

Review by siLLy puPPy
COLLABORATOR PSIKE & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
5 stars There were two great early prog rock bands that emerged in the former Czechoslavakia in the city of Prague, capital of the current Czech Republic. MODRY EFEKT (or Blue Effect) began merely as a blues rock band but displayed meagre progressive touches on their debut "Meditace (Kingdom Of Life)" whereas JAZZ Q PRAHA formed all the way back in the early 60s were predominantly inspired by the late 50s avant-garde jazz greats such as Ornette Coleman, Cecil Taylor and the great Sun Ra. While MODRY EFEKT managed to release their debut album the same year, this collaborative effort between the two groups would be JAZZ Q PRAHA's debut appearance and the album had such an impact on both bands that it would forever steer their cross-pollination efforts into entirely unforeseen musical arenas. This album is unusual in many ways.

First of all only the first and last tracks are the only collaborative efforts that feature both bands playing together. The second track is a MODRY EFEKT only affair and the same goes for JAZZ Q performing the third. Secondly, this album came out all the way back in 1970 behind the Iron Curtain where almost every aspect of an artist's creative process was controlled by the state. It is an astounding miracle that these two bands could have created something this utterly wild and complex at this early stage of progressive rock's history when many of these tracks remind the listener of contemporary and future acts. Most likely this is because the album is entirely instrumental with no lyrics so censorship was unneeded since there are no references to politics. This music is insanely advanced and is one of those crazy complex prog albums that will require many jazz, prog and classical appreciation classes to master any intelligible understanding on much of the album's run.

The album is only 39 minutes and 45 seconds in length but the beginning track "Coniunctio I" swallows up 19 minutes and 15 seconds of its real estate. This is by far the most demanding track on the entire album as it begins with screeching saxes and erupting organs swirling around in a cacophonous din before it finally cools down into a bass driven groove with a 60s psychedelic rock vibe complete with echo effects and ghostly guitar licks. After a couple minutes or so it turns into a heavy rock sequence that offers a taste of heavy blues rock with a sizzling sax that spirals out of control into free jazz territory along with some kind of whistling noises and frenetic organ counterpoints. Wow! There's nothing i can think of from this period of prog history that matches the intensity of this track and were only about five minutes in which enters i swear a louder version of Miles Davis' "Bitches Brew" which ironically came out the same year only half a globe away (before the internet or even legal access to American music) as a bass groove chugs along and keyboards dance Voodoo rituals around the bass driven campfire. After seven minutes it erupts into a bluesy guitar rock frenzy as Radim Hladík delivers one of the most demanding guitar solos of the era. Even Jimmy Page or Hendrix didn't get this heavy. After eight minutes it changes abruptly to a pastoral symphonically embellished flute solo that slowly ratchets up the tension into a jazzified melody with an oscillating keyboard effect and some kind of bells. The mood remains placid and subdued for a while as a jazz bass line finally enters and eventually sounds more like hard bop but then a Thelonious Monk style piano run casually strolls into the picture and then goes plain nuts but finally at the 14 minute mark an ostinato bass line hypnotically entrances while a fluttery flute line plays over it but after a couple minutes it ventures into a segment that reminds me of that frenetic part of Pink Floyd's "Saucerful Of Secrets" before the organ solo part begins. This track is phenomenal! At this early stage it has everything prog all rolled up into one. It has symphonic aspects, psychedelia, dissonance, heaviness, pastoral segments, blues, jazz, classical. Wow! A masterpiece of the ages.

"Náv?těva u tety Markéty, vypití ?álku čaje" is performed only by MODRY EFEKT and along with the next track by JAZZ Q PRAHA provides a centrifuge effect that allows the listener to distinguish which elements of the first track were provided by each band. It also allows a break in the freneticism and over-the-top complexity with a significantly more light-hearted bluesy rocker in a psychedelic rock framework that utilizes a beautiful flute to weave a melody like a fluttering butterfly through the track's shorter six minute time run. If you are familiar with MODRY EFEKT's debut then you will realize that the blues rock, the melodies and the psychedelic parts of CONIUNCTIO are in their camp and this second track provides all of those musical elements and creates a beautiful flute dominated psychedelic rock track that also becomes heavy with guitar and soloing. In fact, it sounds a lot to me like many of those Focus tracks such as "Eruption" on their second album only with more erratic rocking parts.

"Asi půjdem se psem ven" is solely performed by JAZZ Q PRAHA and like the MODRY EFEKT track gives an insight into which aspects of CONIUNCTIO belong to the band's signature sound. This track is straight out of the jazz playbook which starts off somewhat straight forward but soon spirals out into avant-garde jazz heaven and reminds me a lot of some of the space jazz that Sun Ra & his Space Arkestra were pumping out in the mid to late 60s. The time signatures of each instrument all exist in their own musical world and the combo thereof results in a cacophonous din that apexes in a frenetic John Zorn type of saxophone frenzy a good decade or so before he was assaulting eardrums with his own similar style.

"Coniunctio II" continues the collaboration of the first track but is completely different. It begins with a sumptuous flute melody but is backed up by a jarring dissonant guitar counterpoint and quickly picks up and becomes a rather Hendrix-esque guitar jam type sound with a Tullish flute accompaniment and at this point is the most normal sounding track of the album. It remains jammy sounding but ratchets up the tempo, dynamics and finds more instruments joining in until it reaches a cacophonous crescendo but at the heart of it remains a bluesy rock jam despite all the horns whizzing away at light speed.

CONIUNCTO is one of my favorite albums ever to have emerged from the old Soviet dominated Eastern European block and it doesn't get any proggier or complex than this one. This album titillates not only in a musical sense as it simultaneously pleases and assaults the senses but is fascinating to experience such a great work from the "forbidden" part of the world where the likelihood of a prog masterpiece emerging was virtually nil and only mere months after King Crimson, East Of Eden, High Tide, Marsupilami and other British prog bands were getting started. This album also shows the strong promise of collaborative efforts. Often these sorts of projects end up becoming watered down but the two bands found the right dynamic synergy to push each other further, the results of which steered MODRY EFEKT's path more towards jazz and likewise JAZZ Q added more rock elements when they would finally release their debut three years later. This one is an absolute under the radar masterpiece. Be warned though that this is nearly a 10 on the progometer as it is dense, complex and often impenetrable especially when the JAZZ Q elements are on full steam. This album has all the elements of early prog rolled into one package. It's heavy at times, it's pastoral and symphonic at times, it's psychedelic, it's jazzy, it's bluesy. It can be highly melodic with happiness inducing hooks or it can be dismally frightening with dissonant avant-garde jazz outbursts. One of my faves.

Latest members reviews

2 stars Crazy jam for free-jaz fans only. It's interesting how quick the blues-rock band tried to turn into a jazz band. Yes, "tried" is a good word. This recording captures two most promising, and yet most avant-garde, groups of Czechoslovakia. Four tracks presents free-jazzrock jams. There is a l ... (read more)

Report this review (#266013) | Posted by b-side | Saturday, February 13, 2010 | Review Permanlink

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