Gustav Brom Orchestra – I kdyby se všichni čerti ženili
from a 7 inch, 1961, Supraphon 013421
an original Supraphon generic 7″ sleeve, label
Of course, it’s been looong overdue to introduce you to bandleader Gustav Brom (1921–1995) and his orchestra, but I’ve been holding off of posting until my Brom record collection becomes a bit wider. Now that I have gathered nearly twenty Brom Orchestra albums from 1960 until 1982, lots of tracks on singles, EPs and compilations as well as numerous songs with Brom backing popular singers, there’s plenty of representative material to choose from. Because unlike most of my previous articles on Funky Czech-In, in this very case I’d like to proceed more chronologically and encyclopedically. My goal is to cover Brom’s most attractive period (according to the definition of this blog, that is) spanning from the mid 1960s until the early 1980s in several articles over this year.
Gustav Brom wasn’t very conservative when it came to musical genres and styles. Ever since he founded his own band in 1940 until his death in 1995, the repertoire spanned from big band swing, dixieland, bebop, third stream, latin jazz or exotica over easy listening pop, schlager and brass music to soul-jazz, jazz-rock, jazz funk, disco etc. Generally, on the plus side it means that the orchestra has been as versatile as it only could be. But in particular, for a nowadays record collector the drawback of this concept surely is, that not all of the Gustav Brom releases are worth grabbing, of course. I for one am not a particular lover of genres like brass music or dixieland, and the orchestra’s pure swing albums from the 1970s and later are not necessarily on my radar either.
In order to tune into the series, let’s begin with one of the scarce recordings where you can actually hear Mr. Brom singing personally. I kdyby se všichni čerti ženili (Even If All Deuces Got Married) is a lovely little novelty calypso composed by Saša Grossman with lyrics by Zdeněk Borovec. The Czech title as well as the lyrics is a word play with an old Czech expression which you can freely translate as “even if it would rain and storm like hell”. The musicians on this recordings probably were František Navrátil, Zdeněk Novák, Bronislav Horák, Josef Audes, Lubomír Řezanina, Jaromír Hnilička, Alfa Šmíd, Stanislav Veselý, Oldřich Blaha, Milan Řežábek and Václav Skála.