Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: World Music, Jazz
Hungarian guitarist Szabo got his start with drummer Chico Hamilton (who also discovered Eric Dolphy and Charles Lloyd, among others), but was soon off on his own with a unique hybrid of jazz improv and a twang reminiscent... more »
Hungarian guitarist Szabo got his start with drummer Chico Hamilton (who also discovered Eric Dolphy and Charles Lloyd, among others), but was soon off on his own with a unique hybrid of jazz improv and a twang reminiscent of surf guitar. By the 1970s he had descended into Donovan and Carpenters covers (and even those are pretty groovy in a hip-kitsch manner), but this CD combines two LPs that captured him live at his 1967 peak. Well, there is a Sonny and Cher tune, but it's a good one. Also featured is a second guitarist, Jimmy Stewart, and the meshing Eastern-tinged comping of the two is as hypnotic as the title. --D. Strauss
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TUCO H. | Los Angeles, CA | 08/29/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Years ago, when my blase ears first encountered Szabo's 'Sorcerer,' it immediately became a favorite; I couldn't tell why and that was precisely one of its fascinations. Hungarian ex-patriate and former Chico Hamilton bandmate Szabo seemed to have zeroed-in on and captured a mysterious zone or niche hitherto unexplored by jazz and rock guitarists alike. The transcendent aura that resided there, seemed to be a JAZZ-MEDIATED mixture of GYPSY ESSENCES: the essence of Hungarian gypsy music that Szabo grew up surrounded by, and, of course, whatever gypsy essence existed in the hectic Zeitgeist of the late '60s. The considerable technique of Szabo and his co-horts would not be of much interest outside that HIPPIOGYPSYJAZZ unifying triangle. Szabo's style crossed over to younger generation rock musicians, such as Jimi Hendrix and Carlos Santana, who to this day acknowledges him as a seminal influence. Szabo's syncopated dual guitar playing with Jimmy Stewart is the true forerunner of Fripp-and-Belew's similar 'DEPTH' explorations on King Crimson's "Discipline," some 15 years down the road.Over the years, only the effect of 'Space' (being too monotonous for my taste) has faded; most of the rest (and especially 'Mizrab') have remained as UNIQUE IN ATMOSPHERE as the first time I heard them. P.S. Most of my comments here also apply to Szabo's "Jazz/Mysticism/Exotica," the comments to which I had to cut pedestrian to attend to some 'urgent' business."
Truly the sorcerer
Andrew Parker | Toronto, Ontario Canada | 01/18/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This brilliant live album by a relatively unknown guitarist instantly became one of my favorites in the jazz idiom. Szabo's unique and provocative style is an absolute delight, and his minimalist solo style will amaze you from the first track on. Songs vary from the percussion driven "The beat goes on" to the reflective and Eastern influenced "Space". Every track moves the listener in a new and intriguing directions. If you love jazz, you simply must own this album."
Gabor casts a spell
Enrique Torres | San Diegotitlan, Califas | 03/01/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Recorded live in Boston at the Jazz Workshop in 1967 this disc demonstrates the majestic skill Gabor Szabo had. He could take a cheesy pop song made popular by Sony and Cher, like "The Beat Goes On" and really get the crowd into it, just loving it. On this familiar song he transforms the familiar into something new, bending the notes and transfixing the crowd and listener with his gypsyesque stylings, putting a spell on you, like the title itself suggets, from The Sorcerer. Part Django Reinhardt, part Wes Montgomery, all gypsy-jazz-guitar playing Hungarian, Gabor Szabo's fluid fingers are spellbinding. This is Zsabo at his creative omnipotence. This is a short disc but several tracks stand the test of time, including, "Space", a Szabo composition that captivates and takes you into the inner matrix, with accents of Indian music. His music sounds like a fusion of Middle Eastern, European and Western styles that results in a unique brand of music that is signature Szabo. Other standouts include,"Mizrab" which is featured in a more primitive development on the "Jazz Raga" album(unfortunately the album is not available on CD yet) and here it is stretched out to the outer limits for an extended delight,the melodic and romantic "What is This Thing Called Love",taken from the picture of the same name, the expansive notes rendered on "Comin' Back" that intertwines with the percussion to create a happy festive feeling and ending to what must have been a memorable spring night in Boston and the bossanovasque "Little Boat"(O Barquinho)that leaves the traditional soft melodies of the bossa nova for a faster paced interaction between the musicians that highlights Szabo's talents as a leader as he relinquishes the lead for an extensive percussion solo only to take control again with this magic. An underrated guitar player, Szabo was ahead of his times but died too early to fully develop his lasting legacy. As an innovator he was one of the best in his time, recognized by many musicians(he influenced Santana) and should likewise be discovered or rediscovered by you. I take one star away for the brevity of the disc, otherwise it is a top notch performance, without any studio overdubbing, just pure sorcerey."