Czech multi-instrumentalist-composer Karel Velebny was a major force in the emergence of Czechoslovakia onto the international jazz scene in the 1960’s. Appearances at the Berlin Jazz Days in 1964 and subsequent tours throughout Western Europe led to his group’s (HSQ) breakthrough. Here the group is augmented by four woodwinds. All the tunes are by group members. Über Stock Und Stein is a sophisticated bop-influenced piece. The somber refrain of In The Beginning Dark is lit up with a touch of anarchic free-play. There is a puzzling rhythmic feel to One Two three…Five, but actually it’s a blues in 6/4. Blowing Into My Dog’s Brain meanders over a bass pedal point before moving into a swinging medium-up jaunt. Nude tastes of Latin in the melody before merging into straight-ahead swing. Amaze and Conjure is has a sense of humor; a “Girl from Ipanema” refrain keeps popping up, and a nonsense verse sung in the middle accompanies a piano solo. Song of the One-Armed Man migrates between form and freedom with dissonance at its core. The Summer’s Strange End, a blues with layered rhythms, features a heated solo by flutist Jiri Stivin. Heavily influenced by American jazz and flavored by Czechoslovakian sensibility, these are sophisticated jazz compositions that swing, take chances, and do what jazz does best: surprise!