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25 Jan 2017

Gabor Szabo “Dreams” 1968 Hungary US Jazz,Avant Garde

Gabor Szabo  “Dreams” 1968 Hungary Jazz,Avant Garde
Recorded August 6, 7, 9 & 22, 1968 United Recording Studio, Los Angeles, California 
My top discovery of 2008, Gabor Szabo has truly changed the way I think about music. Combining mysterious folk melodies of Eastern Europe with Western jazz, he creates a unique style of his own. 
I decided to check out Gabor Szabo after realizing that some of my favorite hip-hop tracks featured samples from him. He has loads of albums, but Dreams is the one that got me hooked. Check out the first track “Galatea’s Guitar,” it’s beyond sick! Once the beat drops, it sounds like a hip-hop instrumental written 30 years ahead of it’s time. And the final track “Ferris Wheel” is just beautiful, it makes my heart heavy every time I listen to it. 
Gabor Szabo passed away in 1983, but I’m glad that his music has now become part of my life………….. 

Gabor Szabo may not have been as much of a household name as his jazz guitar counterparts (Grant Green & Wes Montgomery), but the Hungarian guitarist was a incredibly skilled player that posessed unmatched versatility. After starting his career as a member of the ever evolving Chico Hamilton Quintet in the early 60s, Szabo turned to Indian, Latin and psychedelic rock fusion to craft his jazz recordings as band leader on the adventurous Impulse label. 

However, Szabo craved more artistic freedom and along with latin vibraphonist Cal Tjader and labelmate Gary MacFarland, he co-founded Skye Records in 1969. Propelled by MacFarland’s vibrant arrangements, Gabor was able to release the album he always envisionned the aptly titled Dreams.This is the Szabo album that resonates the most with me because of the mellow and moody ambiance maintained throughout, as well as the choice to tackle a classical repertoire. Spanish composer Manuel DeFalla‘s work features twice and the playing of cellist George Ricci adds depth to the songs and smoothes out the records experimentation. Much like Szabo, Ricci was used to being in the background since his brother Ruggiero (who recorded a lot of Falla’s oeuvre) was a world-class virtuoso and child prodigy. However, a quick look at George’s body of work shows he has rubbed elbows with the top jazz players of his era. 
Both Ricci and Szabo push boundaries on my favorite cut Lady in the Moon. I have spent many hazy nights gazing at the stars to the mournful sounds of this etheral Szabo composition. The classical training for both musicians is evident in the long introduction, but then the jazz swing takes over and while the song remains soft and lingering, the fiery drumming and Ricci’s jazz picking keep the flame burning. Szabo’s brings his razor sharp improvisation and lays down a great solo. The freedom Szabo felt is evident in his playing, but every note is at its place and this song captures the eery magic contained in this solid record; whose artwork alone is worth the price of admission. Although Skye Records closed shop only three years after its creation, it allowed resident artists to truly express their personal vision and produced musical gems that may have otherwise remained scattered across loose composition sheets…..FORGOTTEN TREASURES…….. 

personnel : 

Gábor Szabó - guitar 
Jim Stewart - guitar 
Louis Kabok - bass 
Jim Keltner - drums 
Hal Gordon - percussion 
Tony Miranda, Ray Alonge, Brooks Tillotson - French horn 
Julius Schacter - violin 
George Ricci - cello 
Gary McFarland - piano, arranger 

Galatea’s Guitar 5:33 
Half The Day Is Night 4:23 
Song Of The Injured Love 4:05 
The Fortune Teller 4:28 
Fire Dance 5:39 
The Lady In The Moon (From Kodaly) 5:13 
Ferris Wheel 5:27

johnkatsmc5, welcome music..