Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Dreams (Dlx) (Dig)
Genres: World Music, Jazz, Pop
2007 reissue of this album from the influential guitarist. From the opening chords of 'Galatea's Guitar', it is clear this is no an ordinary Jazz album. Through the seven pieces here, the guitar is naturally at the forefro... more »
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2007 reissue of this album from the influential guitarist. From the opening chords of 'Galatea's Guitar', it is clear this is no an ordinary Jazz album. Through the seven pieces here, the guitar is naturally at the forefront, yet the backing group is anything but secondary. For this album, his quintet (featuring guitar ace Jimmy Stewart) is augmented by Gary McFarland's fine string arrangements. The set features a nice selection of originals and pop covers. The warm tones and Eastern influences of 'Dreams' makes this one of Gabor Szabo's best albums. Skye.
Ephemeral concept, enduring music, short CD
Stephen Elman | Brighton, MA USA | 08/20/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"The first hype on Gabor Szabo was built on his Hungarian heritage and his use of feedback and drone tones for semi-modal improv. This 1968 release gave him a richer background than he'd had previously. Gary McFarland provided some attractive small-ensemble arrangements (3 French horns, violin and cello), one original ("Half the Day is Night"), and two adaptations of pieces from Manuel de Falla's "El amor brujo" ballet.
The Aubrey Beardsley-style artwork and tongue-in-cheek notes from legendary Rochester NY DJ Bill Ardis positioned the marketing in the "jazz for hippies" department, but despite that, the music here is far better than it might have been.
There is a kinship with two famous releases, and if you like them, you'll probably enjoy "Dreams." The settings have some of the fragile magic of the chamber-jazz of "The Gary McFarland Orchestra" with Bill Evans, and some of the Spanish/exotic quality of Gil Evans's arrangements for Kenny Burrell's "Guitar Forms." There's also a little of the smoothing-out-the-classics approach that came to be a nuisance in a number of CTI releases, but is kept in balance here.
McFarland's work is solid, and that alone makes this a good re-addition to his discography (he effectively sets off the nice set of chords used as a turnaround in Szabo's "Galatea's Guitar"; he keeps "Fire Dance" at a low simmer instead of turning it into the conflagration you might expect; his tune "Half the Day is Night" is more than just a pretty set of sounds; and even his adaptation of Donovan's "Ferris Wheel" bears more than a few relistenings). What keeps this from being better than three stars is the guy whose name is on the cover. Szabo's improvs don't rise to the challenge of the music McFarland provides, because he's not a soloist on the level of Bill Evans or Kenny Burrell. Whiat he plays is pleasant, engaging, and sometimes ingenious, but nothing more. If the young Larry Coryell had only had a chance to play these arrangements, this would be a far better date.
And one more caveat - there's less than 36 minutes of music. That's short for an LP, even in the earliest days of vinyl.
Still, thanks to Blue Moon for making it available again. I hadn't heard it in twenty years, and it provided a surprising amount of pleasure."
David F. Litell | Woodland Park, CO USA | 05/24/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I borrowed money from a college friend to buy this one as soon as I saw the album cover....same day. It was life-changing !! Still is. Musicianship is always a treat to actually hear. If you buy this and can listen when it's full moon and just candlelight, you may have a great time!
How often do we hear upright bass, fingerstyle guitar, steel string acoustic guitar and various percussion coming together these days? Well, it was less so then. This is still good for those with the ears to hear it ring the tuning fork within."
A required study for guitarists
Dave | Franklin, TN | 02/01/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Gabor's playing is demonstrated most eloquently on this album. He was a guitarist who was professionally unafraid to fail to impress his audience with the speed of his playing or the sound effects he could employ, except perhaps his early artistic use of feedback to extend the length of certain notes or to fill a transition. If anything, he was a musical poet who strived for meaning and feeling in each and every note he played. I am nearly 60 years old and have been playing guitar for about 50 of those years. Gabor's playing had a tremendous influence on me over those years even though his influence was shortened by his relatively early death. While I do not think I have copied him or his music, I did found out from him that the guitar is a wonderfully expressive instrument that can play all styles of music, and that it is not the showmanship that makes a guitarist great. Many times his greatness was derived from infusing an economy and simplicity into his music. I believe Gabor played with the desire of reaching for perfection by drawing a precise sound from of each note such with the result aurally reaching a oneness among himself, his guitar and his music. In this manner of playing, there is no need for an audience, but if an audience is present, hopefully they will have enjoyed listening in. (Of course, in reality, the professional guitarist must, by economic necessity, be a bit more showman and does need audiences because of the need to keep getting paid. This is not hypocritical; it's just a fact of life if one is any kind of professional musician of other type of artist.)
I have only rated this album with 4 stars because I believe the quality of the recording could have been better. Even back in the 60's and 70's there was equipment and there were engineers who knew how to use it that would produce better sonic results. To those who have not heard Gabor before, I hope you get the opportunity to set aside the time to just carefully listen without interruption so you can get to know one of the great guitarists of the period. His playing says much about him as a person and his life.