175

Szilard Mezei: Februari Fadontes

John Sharpe By

Sign in to view read count
Serbian-born, Hungarian violist Szilard Mezei leads a quartet of his countrymen through a satisfying program of three multi-sectioned compositions on this limited edition LP. Mezei has become increasingly visible on the international scene, with a string of releases from ensembles of different sizes, and a guest appearance with the The Fonda/Stevens Group. This new foursome features the attractive frontline blend of viola and Peter Bede's tenor saxophone, recalling the pairing of Billy Bang and Frank Lowe in the Jazz Doctors, but with fewer blues inflections, while the rhythm team of bassist Erno Hock and drummer Hunor Szabo capably shifts between high energy and understatement.

Mezei pens substantive themes drawing on Balkan folk traditions though not subservient to them, which provide material aplenty for the players to seize, soaring and roiling within their boundaries, but never arbitrarily elbowing past them. Evoking haughty but faded grandeur, "Akkora/By Then" creates tension from the off, pitching a slow moving melody against a clattering rubato undercurrent. Tenor and viola launch into the first of many exciting simultaneous flights in what is one of this group's hallmarks. Mezei is by turns excitable, uncompromising and grandiloquent.

By contrast "Pakak/Sedges" is open and spacious, sketched by viola and clarinet in loose conversation. Mezei steps out, darkly emotional, with lovely accents and shadings on his sustained notes, while Bede's woody lower register ruminations culminate in multiphonic shrieks. Hock also gets the opportunity to shine here plying a lexicon of arco scrapes, harmonics and percussive taps. The title track is a mid-tempo bounce boasting a tenor outing of jazzy asymmetric phrases and an angular viola offering painted in broad impasto, before more intense interplay. Pulsing pizzicato bass variations, accompanied by off kilter tapping presage a reprise of the head with humorous syncopation to finish off this fine album on a sweet note.

Track Listing: Akkora/By Then; Pakak/Sedges; Februari Fadontes/Felling in February.

Personnel: Szilard Mezei: viola; Peter Bede: tenor saxophone, clarinet; Erno Hock: double bass; Hunor G. Szabo: drums.

Title: Februari Fadontes | Year Released: 2011 | Record Label: NoBusiness Records

About Szilard Mezei
Articles | Calendar | Discography | Photos | More...

Tags

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Read Road Warrior
Road Warrior
By Chris May
Read Catania
Catania
By Ian Patterson
Read Magma
Magma
By Mark Corroto
Read The Outsider
The Outsider
By Mark Sullivan
Read The People I Love
The People I Love
By Mark Corroto
Read Drone Dream
Drone Dream
By John Sharpe
Read Uppsala 1971
Uppsala 1971
By Chris Mosey