Here is a listening tip for Rifftides readers in or near New York City.
On one of his periodic visits to the United States, the Czech pianist Emil Viklický will have a return engagement this week with the multi-instrumentalist Scott Robinson. (In the photo, Robinson is on the right.) They will play on Wednesday evening at the Bohemian National Hall of the Czech Center in Manhattan. The occasion will be a program of music in memory of Josef Škvorecký (1924-2012), the writer known for Dvorák in Love, The Bass Saxophone and The Engineer of Human Souls, among other novels. Martin Wind will be on bass, the Finnish drummer Klaus Suonsaari on drums. For concert details, go here.
The center’s announcement did not say which of his dozens of horns Robinson will import from his New Jersey instrument farm. They could include anything from the sopranino saxophone to the contrabass sax, the trumpet to the tuba to the theremin. Given the Škvorecký connection, the bass saxophone would make sense. Almost certainly, he will bring the tenor sax, on which he has been doing some of his most expressive work. In this video from their Czech Center concert in a 2010 encounter, Viklický and Robinson play “Touha” (Desire) from Viklický’s 2009 album Sinfonietta.
Viklický’s involvement in a program honoring Škvorecký makes sense. The two were friends, fellow survivors of the Soviet occupation of their country. See this Rifftides archive post for the story.