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Lajos Dudas: Brückenshlag

C. Michael Bailey By

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Clarinetist Lajos Dudas is a vector talent, having both a fixed direction and potent momentum associated with it. His music is descendant of Jimmy Giuffre's early '60s recordings with bassist Steve Swallow and pianist Paul Bley. Dudas' music is an evolution into a freer, yet more structured performance form. Both his vertical and horizontal improvisations possess a certain synergy with one another, neither being dominant. These attributes can be detected on Dudas' recent recordings, Jazz and the City (JazzSick Records, 2012), Live at Porgy & Bess (JazzSick Records, 2013, and Radio Days: The Music of Lajos Dudas (JazzSick Records, 2016). Dudas is an intrepid seeker in music.

On the present Brückenshlag picks up where Benny Goodman left off with his classical recordings of Mozart, Brahms, Debussy, and Copland with his own treatments of Webern, Bartok, and a good measure of this own compositions. Recorded live at Zeughaus/Neuss on April 10, 2016, Dudas flexes his creative muscles, displaying the depth of his musical acumen. The Webern "Five Sets for String Orchestra" are necessarily atonal, angular and anxious. Interspersed among the Webern are Dudas' "Three Intermezzi" which meld well with the twelve-tone Webern while recalling the iconoclasm of Morton Feldman's modern clarinet interpretations. In contrast, the Dudas-arranged Bartok is at once both lyrical and mysterious with the Slavic fragrance of Hungary. The recital concludes with a jazz ballet suite. Dudas' tone is dense and sure and the support by the Deutsche Kammerakademie Neuss, under the direction of Leo Siberski. The recital as a whole is an essential look at 20th Classical composition rendered by a master of his instrument. When one wishes to get serious about music, this is the music to get serious with.

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