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In Stockholm (Digital Only,Re-mastered)

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Album Review

As reissues go, this one is practically priceless. Compiled on In Stockholm are two of Hungarian guitar virtuoso Gabor Szabo's most obscure, finest, and most serious jazz albums, recorded with small groups of Swiss musicians (including master guitarist Janne Schaffer). Neither title has ever been available on CD before, though they have seen many LP incarnations. The first, Small World, was taped and issued in 1972; its lineup consisted of Szabo, with a trio on five of the eight cuts, augmented by Schaffer and Berndt Egarbladh on electric piano on the other three. The two absolute stunners are the 14-minute-plus rendition of Szabo's classic "Mizrab," with wondrous guitar interplay between the two guitar-slingers. And its final track, one of the most beautiful and moving renditions of Rodrigo's "Concierto De Aranjuez." The add to this Belsta River, from 1978, featuring Schaffer on all the tracks, and in a dual guitar role along with bassist Pekka Pohjola in a sextet setting with just four drawn-out, free-flowing cuts. Highlights of Belsta River include the stunning dialogue between the guitarists, on the 14-minute "24 Carat," by Szabo. It's a blowing session that showcases fine intuitive bassing from Pohjola, and tasteful, unintrusive, but driving word from keyboardist Wlodek Gulgowski. In addition, there is a very poetic and innovative read of "Django," by the Modern Jazz Quartet's John Lewis. Here, Szabo emulates his greatest influence, and takes the gypsy guitar angle to its limit. In Stockholm is a bit difficult to find, but can be tracked down on the Internet. This album is a must for fans of Szabo's more serious, less exotic, jazz playing.


Born: 08 March 1936 in Budapest, Hungary

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '60s, '70s

Gabor Szabo was one of the most original guitarists to emerge in the 1960s, mixing his Hungarian folk music heritage with a deep love of jazz and crafting a distinctive, largely self-taught sound. Inspired by a Roy Rogers cowboy movie, Szabo began playing guitar when he was 14 and often played in dinner clubs and covert jam sessions while still living in Budapest. He escaped from his country at age 20 on the eve of the Communist uprising and eventually made his way to America, settling with his family...
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In Stockholm (Digital Only,Re-mastered), Gabor Szabo
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