175

Szilard Mezei: Februari Fadontes

John Sharpe By

Sign in to view read count
Szilard Mezei: Februari Fadontes 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.

Year Released: 2011 | Record Label: NoBusiness Records | Style: Free Improv/Avant-Garde


Shop

More Articles

Read Groove Dreams CD/LP/Track Review Groove Dreams
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: May 23, 2017
Read Kami Fusen CD/LP/Track Review Kami Fusen
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 23, 2017
Read Two CD/LP/Track Review Two
by Joe Gatto
Published: May 23, 2017
Read Galaxies Like Grains Of Sand CD/LP/Track Review Galaxies Like Grains Of Sand
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 23, 2017
Read Nightfall CD/LP/Track Review Nightfall
by John Kelman
Published: May 22, 2017
Read Pekka CD/LP/Track Review Pekka
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 22, 2017
Read "Of The Night" CD/LP/Track Review Of The Night
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: August 28, 2016
Read "Aerial" CD/LP/Track Review Aerial
by Pascal-Denis Lussier
Published: May 3, 2017
Read "Still" CD/LP/Track Review Still
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 23, 2016
Read "New Affirmation" CD/LP/Track Review New Affirmation
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: February 6, 2017
Read "Where the Blue Begins" CD/LP/Track Review Where the Blue Begins
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: March 7, 2017
Read "Confirmation" CD/LP/Track Review Confirmation
by Nicola Negri
Published: September 5, 2016
comments powered by Disqus

Why wait?

Support All About Jazz and we'll deliver exclusive content, hide ads, hide slide-outs, and provide read access to our future articles.

Buy it!