music | jazz

Sammy Vomácka Trio

Fingerstyle Jazz


Event details

Sammy Vomácka, at the end of his 40s, on his own initiative, literally shed his skin once again to make the music that fascinates him, putting at risk a good reputation as an artist (and a cozy niche in the scene) acquired over decades. The name Vomácka is associated with unforgettable evenings in poorly ventilated student pubs, wonderful ragtime and blues arrangements on an old Martin to humorous interjections, perhaps the first realization that it is at all humanly possible to play pieces by Leo Kottke (by ear), as well as the equally delicious and analytically accurate explanation that a guitar picker is a person with three hands. Except for the picks on his hands, hardly anything at a trio concert reminds you of the musician you once knew. With a bulbous old Gibson "Super 400", on which he has removed the bridge pickup and the associated pots himself, he forms the central part of a classical jazz trio of the purest water. Apart from him, there are only drums and double bass - a line-up in which jazz guitaristic weaknesses would mercilessly come to light, if they existed. But with all reservations and with all critically sharpened ears ready to analyze the former player down to the last subtlety - the man shows no weaknesses. One rubs one's eyes (and ears) in amazement and the concert almost goes into intermission until one realizes that this is really Sammy Vomácka, and not Jim Hall or Barney Kessel, who intones one jazz standard after another (Wave, There Will Never Be Another You, All Blues, etc.) with an ease that simply leaves you speechless. He handles melodies and motifs with complete freedom, eliciting ever new harmonic variations that melt on the tongue or eardrum like good wine. And he sounds authentic from front to back, as if he had been eating cereal from the records of Tal Farlow and Wes Montgomery every morning for the last few years. In addition, the fine trio even manages a very special balancing act: the music breathes, it is airy, unforced and free and yet has a convincing swing; it is harmonically complex and yet never comes across as aloof for a moment. As elegant and melodic as it all seems, one can only acknowledge, shaking one's head, that someone has successfully completely reinvented himself after a decades-old musical identity; moreover, he has not only learned a different style, but has also completely internalized a new role: not once does he fall back into old fingerpicking patterns, playing one note too many or indulging in arpeggios, twitching his thumb to strike a bass that the double bass plays anyway. But it is this effortlessness that belies hard years of relearning, as Sammy Vomácka remarks during the intermission : " It was incredibly hard ...., it took a long time, but now it's starting to go.... "
Main organiser



Guitar: Sammy Vomácka

Drums: Martin Standke

Bass: Ivan Habernal