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Miroslav Vitous: Still Searching

Miroslav Vitous

ECM recording artist Miroslav Vitous hasn’t offered up a new album since 1992’s Atmos, a chilling duet with saxophonist Jan Garbarek. Since then the bass legend has been occupied with other interests, such as teaching and amassing an extensive library of sampled orchestral sounds that he utilizes when performing solo bass concerts. With Universal Syncopations, Vitous breaks his 10-year recording drought. An all-star affair featuring some famous colleagues who have been in the bassist’s orbit since the late ’60s, this latest Vitous outing was two years in the making, and it’s highlighted by a remarkable chemistry among the participants-Chick Corea, Jack DeJohnette, John McLaughlin, Garbarek and Vitous-even if most of those musicians never played together during the session.

“The whole band never played together on any one piece. I basically laid down the foundation together with Jack, just bass and drums playing live,” Vitous says. “Then I wrote various statements or motifs for the other players to develop and in between the statements there was improvisation. I asked all the musicians involved to please take this motif and digest it and then play it your way. They all did that beautifully, each recording his contribution one by one, and it truly worked. But it took 14 months of editing in the end to place everything exactly where I wanted it.”

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