Monday, December 27, 2010

Szilard Mezei - February Fadontes (No Business, 2010)

Melding folk music to free jazz in an interesting and intriguing manner, viola player Szilard is joined by Peter Bede on tenor saxophone and clarinet, Erno Hock on bass and Hunor G. Szabo and drums. This is a limited edition vinyl record that really deserves wider recognition especially among fans who enjoy their jazz expanded by different cultural elements. The album begins with "Akkorra/By Then," the lengthy opening medley that takes up side one of the LP. The music is very exciting and memorable, the closest thing I can compare it to is some of the "world jazz" that has come out of the Tzadik label in recent years. Szilar's viola swirls and sways through the lengthy improvisation building gales and eddys of music that are matched and commented on by Bede's saxophone. Hock and Szabo make for an admirable rhythm team keeping the beat wide open and supporting the players throughout. "Pakak/Sedges" takes a different tack, slowing the music to a crawl and opening up the improvisation with plucked viola and gentle shades of clarinet meshing with bass and light percussion to good effect. "Februari Fadöntés/Felling in February" wraps up the album by stepping on the gas and delving into a fast and exciting performance that takes a dynamic route flowing the energy of the music through the ensemble and the individual players. I had been unfamiliar with this band prior to hearing this record and I enjoyed it very much. The ensemble is able to call forth rich textures of music that are continually challenging (in a good way) and consistently interesting. February Fadontes - No Business Records

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