The band was the brainchild of bass player, composer and arranger Petr Klapka while he studied composition at the Prague Conservatory. In the 1973 he founded Mahagon initially as a singer/songwriter folk duo with his classmate and future Bohemia keyboarder Jan Hála. But soon they became influenced by popular brass-rock groups like Blood Sweat & Tears or Chicago, thus the line-up logically expanded to a much larger combo.
Klapka usually had an excellent taste in choosing his sidemen: one of the first lead singers was "Mr. Soul" himself, Michal Prokop. Unfortunately that period remained undocumented on records. On the Mahagon debut album, recorded in 1977, you can hear for example Klapka's schoolmate Michael Kocáb on keyboards, ETC members Jiří Jelínek on guitar (who died tragically soon thereafter) and violinist Jan Hrubý, as well as a large horn section around jazz saxophonist Jiří Niederle.
After adding his wife and ex-C&K Vocal singer Zdena Adamová to the line-up in 1976, Klapka occasionally began to slip into the pop music genre. He featured Adamová on several Supraphon and Panton seven inch sides between 1976 and 1979.
In 1979 Klapka joined the ex-Apollobeat leader, composer and Supraphon producer Jan Spálený for his solo album Signál času (The Signal Of Time), a funky jazz-rock adaptation of poems by Vítězslav Nezval. Although the band name "Mahagon" was used, the studio group had transformed almost completely.
The second and last regular Mahagon album Slunečnice pro Vincenta van Gogha (Sunflowers For Vincent Van Gogh) has been recorded in 1979, too. But yet another transformation happened: what we hear on this record is actually the forthcoming 1980s edition of Pražský výběr, but with Klapka on bass! (The original, jazzy Pražský výběr/Prague Selection combo of the 1970s was in fact the complete rhythm section of the Prague Big Band - hence the band name - and thus the Mahagon connection here isn't all too surprising.) So, Kocáb is back on the keys, ex-Bohemia Michal Pavlíček played guitar and Jiří Hrubeš was drumming. Further musicians were the ex-Elektrobus and ex-Expanze percussionist Naďa Vávrová as well as a seven-piece horn section. And there's of course Zdena Adamová, who sang lyrics by Pavel Vrba on most of the tracks.
Klapka and Adamová emigrated to the U.S. in 1981. They are running a private music school nowadays.
Artist descriptions on Last.fm are editable by everyone. Feel free to contribute!
All user-contributed text on this page is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply.