Modry Efekt - Nova Synteza. 1971 Czech Republic
CD reissues: 1997 Bonton;2009 Supraphon (as The Blue Effect 1969-1989 9 CD compilation)
Nova Synteza is Modry Efekt's second album (not counting the co-release with Jazz Q Praha), and quite a departure from the blues rock/Czech pop oriented Meditace. I think the first thing one will pick up on this album is just how BIG it sounds. The Czechoslovak Radio Jazz Orchestra (or its indigenous name Jazzový orchestr Československého rozhlasu) proved to be quite the rockin' bunch, and Modry Efekt does a great job integrating with the difficult charts. For 1971 Czechoslovakia, this album is quite an extraordinary accomplishment. It is here that Radim Hladik begins to demonstrate his immense chops on the electric guitar. There's really no album quite like this one. It's not a rock meets orchestra type release, as many a UK band did back then (Deep Purple, Caravan, etc...). Nor is it a large scale horn rock band like Chicago on steroids. The album is all instrumental, and maintains a healthy tempo throughout. Blue Effect Blues is a bit typical of the medium, until the second half when Hladik feels the need to polish off a few licks. And 'Clinging Ivy' (3rd track) sounds a bit too familiar at times with some of its cliched orchestra type melodies. Otherwise, this is an album not to be missed, both from a modern aesthetic perspective, as well as an historical one.
The original LP stayed in print until at least 1980. My copy is part of the awesome 9 CD set Blue Effect 1969-1989. This will be the first of many posts from this set.