Swing Lover | 6/9/2022 | Sonia Svobodova

6/9/2022 / Soňa Svobodová

reading time 8 minutes

Just as Bratislava can be proud of its unique musical ensemble, whose repertoire also focuses on swing and hot-jazz music of the 1920s and 1930s, so can Prague. And I’m glad about it, because who doesn’t love that wonderful time of those years, when there was respect between generations, good manners and men were gentlemanly and gallant to women. Who doesn’t love this beautiful fashion full of simplicity, beauty and quality. Who wouldn’t love Tamara Lempická’s wonderful paintings, perfectly capturing the atmosphere of that time. Who doesn’t love Bratislava Hot Serenders and their concerts. Who wouldn’t love the HOT SISTERS from Prague, whose original hot-jazz repertoire brings not only the listeners of their concerts to a boil, but also all the dance enthusiasts in many Prague and non-Prague jazz clubs, and even in Homes for the elderly. Just everywhere, where the sisters Doris Lamošová and Sophia Lamoš present their famous hot-jazz repertoire.

Even though the current times demand speed, it didn’t break you and you remained faithful to your beloved hot-jazz, who brought you to it?

Mom sang songs by Ivan Mládek while cleaning the house, dad played funk and classical music, and when grandma came, she played beautiful old jazz on the piano. She still plays beautifully today, even if she doesn’t think so herself. She picked it up from her father, who was a jazz pianist.

It is known about you that you like to play your own compositions, such as Láska má je boogie, Vážka nad řekou or Opilé Blues, the author of which is your grandmother Věra Chrbolková. How did she suddenly become your court copywriter?

We grew up in Austria. We went to Prague to study music, where we began to miss Austrian folk music. That’s why we asked my grandmother to transliterate some Austrian folk songs into Czech for us, and that’s how we started together
sing two voices.

Many visitors to your concerts admire, in addition to the great music and your unique period performances, also your wonderful dresses, which seem to have come from the salon of Hana Podolská herself, who is a contemporary seamstress as skilled as this fashion diva of the First Republic?

Some dresses were sewn by our grandmother, others we ordered online. Nowadays, you can really get a lot, we like the elegance of the twenties, but it was a wild time back then! The fact that women had short curled hair and shortened skirts was downright scandalous for part of the population!

Your repertoire also includes a song by Inka Zemánková, Dívka k rytmu zrozná.

Do you also sing her Sunflowers?

Yes, Sunflower never offends :-). We love gems from the era of the First Republic, we like to sing hot or Let’s say it quietly :-).

Your debut album became the CD Swing is my king / Swing Is My King, on which those interested can listen to such gems as Swing, Brother, Swing;

Crazy People, Bei Mir Bistu Schein, Hi, Diddle Diddle, Girl for a Million and the debut hit Swing is my king and ten more. But who is the third girl on the booklet, since there are two of you, and how did the album actually come about?

The first album was conceived more for three voices, and who else would have taken on such a task better than Alice Bauer? For many years she sang in the Original Prague Syncopation Orchestra, and she understands this music as well as English, which she speaks masterfully. She wrote the English version of the song Swing is my king. We hope that the cooperation regarding the English lyrics for some of our songs will continue. The album was produced by Miroslav Lacko, who is not only Ondřej Havelka’s court pianist, but also works as a soloist with the Berlin Philharmonic. The album was created in cooperation with the publishing house Supraphon.

Dancers also belong to swing and hot-jazz, such as the famous Josephine Baker, who was considered the embodiment of hot-jazz in pre-war Europe. Will you expand your duo with a hot-jazz dancer?

We don’t know how you could have guessed this, but we’re putting it together right now. My sister and I enjoy playing instruments and singing, so we decided to invite a saxophonist-dancer. Together with her, we are putting together such a music-themed audiovisual project Kristýna Šrubařová alias Ritzy-Pitzy. It’s a soul that literally embodies the wild era of Prohibition. She has an aura similar to that of Marilyn Monroe. Whether you are a woman or a man, you simply have to love her :-). We cannot reveal the theme of the evening yet :-).

From some of your songs, the listener can hear an opera melody, chanson, tango, house music and even beat box, which will surprise him. Does that mean you like to surprise your listeners?

Yes, because we love music, we connect swing and hot-jazz with other musical styles. If Count Basie or Cab Calloway were alive today, we dare say they would certainly be happy to take advantage of this opportunity. Doris studied composition and piano at the conservatory, so she wouldn’t have been able to do it any other way, and I, Sophie, have a multi-genre background after studying singing at the conservatory. When it comes down to it, I sing opera as well as funky. You won’t get bored and the audience will be pleasantly surprised. But we can hardly deny our heart.

You also gave a concert at the Metoděj Vlach Aviation Museum in Mladá Boleslav, where you enchanted everyone present with your performance, as if you had just materialized directly from the swing era, which proves that in past lives you were inextricably linked with it?

We have no doubt about that. I guess we lived a wild, wild, jazzy life. Fortunately, we live more sensibly in this life, but the touch of the old times keeps us awake. Thanks to music, we can move there and take the listener with us.

Your grandmother, Věra Chrbolková, is again the author of the text of the new song Rudé bububu, the single of which you are currently working on. Can you post at least a bit of the opening stanza for our readers?

I see red, what will become of it…”

It’s a song in which the baritone saxophone dominates, which Markéta Greifonerová Smejkalová aka MAKYNA plays wonderfully, but she can also play the viola and the clarinet :-).

Grandma is watching the news with grandpa, and this song was written some time ago, unfortunately, it turned out that the song was prophetic…

Is there anything in your work that you value most so far?

What we value most is the opportunity to make music and meet people (hotsisters-music.com) who love it as much as we do, whether on stage or in the audience. Support comes from all sides :-). We have the opportunity to play with the best musicians of this genre, and this is the best school in the world.

And what are you planning for the future?

Stride piano, as you can only hear from Jiří Polydor or slapbass from Antonín Šturma from old recordings. Now we focus on the grandmother, it’s nice to be among the girls and solve the music :-). It’s an interesting energy. We look forward to seeing what the future holds. It’s work. But if it fulfills a person, he is lucky in this life :-).

Thanks for the interview.


The article is in Czech

Tags: Swing Lover Sonia Svobodova

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