Amazon.com Widgets

Daniel Szabo: A Song From There

By Published: | 4,235 views
Daniel Szabo: Daniel Szabo: A Song From There How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

Some musicians are late bloomers. Others start while most people their age are occupied with finger painting and play-doh; Daniel Szabo belongs to the latter category. The Hungarian-born, Los Angeles-based pianist was playing and composing at the age of four, but that's not so surprising since he grew up in a house with two musician- parents.

Szabo had already taken top honors in several international piano competitions by the time he earned his B.A. from the Franz Lizst Academy of Music in Budapest in 2000. A year later he was moving on to the Henry Mancini Institute in Los Angeles, and two years after that he packed up and moved east to study at the New England Conservatory. Szabo soaked in everything that arranging/compositional giant Bob Brookmeyer
Bob Brookmeyer
Bob Brookmeyer
1929 - 2011
trombone
, pianist extraordinaire Danilo Perez
Danilo Perez
Danilo Perez
b.1966
piano
and numerous other professors had to offer at that venerable institution, and then he began making a name for himself.

Szabo already had a few records under his belt before he was through with his studies, but he upped the ante with his post-graduate output, inviting guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel
Kurt Rosenwinkel
Kurt Rosenwinkel
b.1970
guitar
to join his trio on Frictions (Warner Jazz, 2007) and bringing saxophonist Chris Potter
Chris Potter
Chris Potter
b.1971
reeds
in as a guest on Contribution (BMC Records, 2010). Now, four years after his last record, Szabo returns with another trio outing, but it's a true trio outing this time. There's no big name plus-one joining in here, and if somebody else had dropped by, they'd just be in the way. Szabo's musical relationship with bassist Edwin Livingston and drum legend Peter Erskine
Peter Erskine
Peter Erskine
b.1954
drums
is a finely calibrated one that could only be hurt through intrusion.

A Song From There starts out with a bad omen, as Szabo hogs the glory, interacts only mildly with Livingston, and leaves Erskine to play a train beat with brushes under much of "Hun-Fro Blues." The performance doesn't seem to go anywhere and it doesn't really hold interest. It's the only time that these three men fail to connect, as the bad omen turns out to be a false omen. The alternate version of the song that's tacked on to the end of the album, along with every piece that sits between the two takes, presents a far more empathetic outfit.

This trio can be nimble and graceful ("Kids' Dance") or downright dangerous ("Barbaro Con Brio") depending on the circumstances at hand. Szabo and Erskine seem to sparkle in the distance when Livingston steps out, but they have no problem bearing down when the music calls for it. Szabo spins out attractive numbers ("I Crooned It Before") and mournful melodies ("A Song From There") with confidence, and his work almost seems to give off trace elements from Brad Mehldau
Brad Mehldau
Brad Mehldau
b.1970
piano
on occasion ("Eastynato").

It's not hard to see why players like Alan Pasqua
Alan Pasqua
Alan Pasqua

piano
, who wrote the liner notes for this project, and saxophonist Bob Mintzer
Bob Mintzer
Bob Mintzer
b.1953
saxophone
, who initially brought Szabo into Pasqua's line of sight, have great things to say about him. This is finely wrought trio work that captures the imagination.

Track Listing: Hun-Fro Blues; Kids' Dance (Dedicated To Aron And Julia); Eastynato; A Song From There; Barbaro Con Brio (Hommage a Bela Bartok); I Crooned It Before; Hun-Fro Blues-Alternate Take.

Personnel: Daniel Szabo: guitar; Peter Erskine: drums; Edwin Livingston: bass.

Record Label: Self Produced

Style: Modern Jazz


comments powered by Disqus
Support All About Jazz Through Amazon

Weekly Giveaways

Mark Elf

Mark Elf

About | Enter

Stefano Bollani

Stefano Bollani

About | Enter

Carmen Lundy

Carmen Lundy

About | Enter

Wadada Leo Smith

Wadada Leo Smith

About | Enter

Sponsor: Nonesuch Records | BUY NOW

Enter it twice.
To the weekly jazz events calendar

Enter the numbers in the graphic
Enter the code in this picture

Log in

One moment, you will be redirected shortly.

or search site with Google