Amazon.com Widgets

Tommy Vig: Welcome to Hungary (2012)

By Published: | 3,332 views
Tommy Vig: Welcome to Hungary How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

Although not as well-known in the US as his compatriots Attila Zoller
Attila Zoller
Attila Zoller
1927 - 1998
guitar
and Gabor Szabo
Gabor Szabo
Gabor Szabo
1936 - 1982
guitar
, percussionist Tommy Vig is every bit as talented as the two guitarists with a unique vision and unrelenting quest for perfection.

Born in Budapest, Vig was a child prodigy, having recorded on drums at the tender age of eight. Political climate forced him into a self-imposed exile to the US where he made a living playing behind other jazz musicians, vocalists and on film soundtracks while simultaneously furthering his calling of modern composition.

Awestruck by Albert Ayler
Albert Ayler
Albert Ayler
1936 - 1970
sax, tenor
(whom he saw during the latter's tenure at The Village Vanguard in the mid-1950s), he never abandoned a healthy respect for free jazz and progressive musical explorations. Two of his pieces became part of Stan Kenton
Stan Kenton
Stan Kenton
1911 - 1979
piano
's repertoire, but unlike the latter's work Vig's own big band forays have a loose and gritty feel to them, infused with a cinematic and edgy expansiveness like that of Gerald Wilson
Gerald Wilson
Gerald Wilson
1918 - 2014
composer/conductor
.

This is clearly heard on Welcome to Hungary!. On "Sahara," the orchestra builds its sound around David Murray
David Murray
David Murray
b.1955
sax, tenor
's edgy tenor, replete with honks and screeches. This echoes the vibraphone and saxophone duet that opens the tune, with Vig's angular and sparse mallet strikes building an ambience around Murray's complex and satisfying free blowing. A similar vibes/tenor improvisation opens the celebratory "Now is the Time in Hungary," a Vig original that explodes with the bright colors and brassy sound of the horn heavy ensemble.

Intros of this sort appear on almost every track, featuring either a Murray/Vig ad lib dialogue or the vibraphonist a capella. These surface similarities lead to a thematic unity and not to repetitious monotony. One of the highpoints of the recording is "Vig Corn," a ballet like melody built upon a Hungarian folk song that features Rozsa Farkas, on cimbalom (a Magyar hammered dulcimer), and Balazs Cserta on the bass clarinet-like tarogato. These ethnic instruments are also heard on the "Body and Soul"-inspired "Buddy and Solita," that features Vig's percussive drumming and Murray's edgy saxophone mixing avant-garde explorations with quotes from the original ballad.

The CD also contains bonus material featuring a slimmed-down version of the group playing two traditional airs featuring Vig's life partner, evocative singer Mia Kim; a percussion-heavy and wonderfully harmonic "I Told You"; the cimbalom based waltz "Only You"; and a whimsical parody of The Beatles
The Beatles
The Beatles

band/orchestra
' "Michelle" that sounds like a Mozart Divertimento.

The accompanying booklet contains copious liner notes by Vig that is part introduction to the disc, part memoir and part witty and acerbic observation on music and politics. The album as a whole is a well-rounded and delightful introduction to an artist who deserves long overdue recognition as a composer, improviser and instrumentalist.

Track Listing: Sahara; Buddy and Solita; Now is the Time in Hungary!; Rise and Shine; In Memory of Dizzy; In Memory of Monk; Only You; Vig Corn; Bonus tracks: I Told You; Only You; Me Shall; Veled Vagyok Meg Gondolatban; Fustbe Ment Terv.

Personnel: Tommy Vig: vibraphone, drums; David Murray: tenor saxophone; Rozsa Farkas: cimbalom; Balazs Cserta: tarogato, saxophone; Istvan Elek: saxophone; Ference Schreck: trombone; Bela Szaloky: trombone, flugelhorn; Akos Tompa: trumpet; Janos Hamori: trumpet; Peter Kovacs: tuba; Balazs Nagy: saxophone; Arpad Dennert: saxophone; Mia Kim: vocals.

Record Label: Klasszikus Jazz Records

Style: Modern Jazz


comments powered by Disqus
Search
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

Bandzoogle: GET STARTED TODAY - FREE TRIAL

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.

Article Search