Reviews that mention György Szabados

May 17, 2016

Gresnscó Open Collective

SLAM CD 565/Hunnia Records HR CD 1508

By Ken Waxman

Arguably Hungary’s most unique composer of the post-war era, pianist György Szabados (1939-2011) had difficultly performing his admixture of free jazz-New music and folkloric sounds in Communist times. Even after liberalization, during his sole Canadian appearance at 2006’s Guelph Jazz Festival, his duo with percussionist Vladimir Tarasov was the equivalent of reading a Reader’s Digest version of a novel – textures were lacking. Budapest-based reedist István Grencsó, who was a frequent member of the composer’s ensembles from 1984 to 2007, rectifies the situation with this two-CD set of six Szabados compositions. Grencsó, who plays soprano and alto saxophones and bass clarinet here, creates the equivalent of a Technicolor film from the scores by adapting them to the varied tones produced by his own band – pianist Máté Pozsár, bassist Róbert Benkö and percussionist Szilveszter Miklós – plus, on three tracks, the viola of Szilárd Mezei, who may be Szabados’ heir as a composer; trumpeter Ádám Meggtes on two; as well as two additional woodwind voices to give a breezy vaudeville-like strut to the concluding “Regölés/Minstrelsy”. MORE

March 26, 2012

György Szabados - Joëlle Léandre

Live at Magyarkanizsa
Budapest Music Center Records BMC CD 183

Bittersweet by definition, this exceptional CD highlights the creativity of two of Europe’s most profound instrumental innovators in a four-part improvisation, recorded at a Serbian music festival. The result is sweet since it was one of the few times that György Szabados, Hungary’s veteran father of distinct experimental music, got to play with a foreign musician with a similar breath of talents to his own – in this case French bassist Joëlle Léandre. Yet the bitterness of unfulfilled promise is palpable as well, since Szabado died in the Pest county town of Nagymaros less than a year later, and never go to extend the partnership. MORE

March 28, 2005


Trio Tone
Leo Records CD LR 416

Perhaps Anthony Braxton’s most uncommon yet satisfying CD of the past decade, TRIO TONE is memorable because the American saxophonist functions as part of an improvising trio rather than promulgating his own ideas.

Recorded on a busman’s holiday to Serbia-Montenegro in 2003, the disc features Braxton operating as one-third of a cooperative trio convened to play two compositions by Hungarian pianist György Szabados, which led to three subsequent encore/improvisations. Braxton, who is always up for unique collaborations, played and recorded with Szabados, in the early 1980s. Adding lustre to the match up is the presence of former Ganelin Trio percussionist Vladimir Tarasov, who is based in Vilnius, Lithuania. Outside of the trio, Tarasov’s associations have included Braxton’s colleague, American drummer Andrew Cyrille, the ROVA Saxophone Quartet and the Vilnius State Philharmonic. MORE