80

Lajos Dudas Quartet: Jazz And The City

Dan Bilawsky By

Sign in to view read count
Most musicians firmly plant themselves in one particular territory in the music world, but clarinetist Lajos Dudas prefers to set up camp at the border crossings, allowing for swift travel between stylistic realms. Dudas doesn't discriminate when it comes to direction, and he's made that evident through his own endeavors over the past fifty years. He spars with the avant-garde elite, swings like mad in straightforward settings, tackles classical music with the requisite grace and technique that the repertoire demands and appears to have a damn good time doing all of it. While his skills and artistic scope have allowed him to work successfully in all of these settings, he doesn't come across as a musician with multiple-personality disorder when he puts a project together. He always shows extreme focus on the task at hand and Jazz And The City is no exception.

This quartet date finds Dudas mostly on the straight and narrow, delivering four self-penned originals, a selection from guitarist Attila Zoller and five jazz classics. While the head-solos-head format is employed on more than one occasion, the element of surprise is still alive and well in the performances. The distinctly different personalities at play complement one another and help to keep things interesting. Dudas is the melody man in all respects and guitarist Philipp van Endert Trio dirties things up with his gritty soloing ("Miles"). Drummer Kurt Billker brings a rock attitude into the mix with his solid back beats and off-beat cymbal bell accents, but he's still capable of working in subtle fashion ("I've Got The World On A String"). Bassist Martin Gjakonowski has two major roles, bringing a slightly funkier attitude into the rock-based rhythm section ("Hommage To O.P.") and amplifying the ideals of the other players at any given moment.

The program is set in motion with Dudas' own engaging "Riffs," which has an angular melodic design. "Hommage To O.P." is a clear album highlight, as it features some strong soloing from both string men, and Leonard Bernstein's "America" is born anew, with its tropicalia-meets-Brazil vibe. "Cab Car" is an unadulterated blues with dynamic arcs, "Soft Waves" is hardly soft, "Take 5" takes the tempo up a bit from the original and "Just Friends" slows things down, allowing the band to take a collective breath as they finish things off.

While nobody, save for the man himself, knows where Lajos Dudas might go next, a return to this format with these musicians would be welcome; the music merits an encore album.

Track Listing: Riffs; Miles; Here's That Rainy Day; Hommage to O. P.; America; Cab Car; I've Got The World On A String; Soft Waves; Take 5; Just Friends.

Personnel: Lajos Dudas: clarinet; Philipp van Endert: guitar; Martin Gjakonowski: bass; Kurt Bilker: drums.

Title: Jazz And The City | Year Released: 2012 | Record Label: JazzSick Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Whispers on the Wind CD/LP/Track Review Whispers on the Wind
by Jack Bowers
Published: October 23, 2017
Read Shropshire Lads: Songs to the Poems of AE Housman CD/LP/Track Review Shropshire Lads: Songs to the Poems of AE Housman
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: October 23, 2017
Read Heptagon CD/LP/Track Review Heptagon
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 23, 2017
Read ON Tour CD/LP/Track Review ON Tour
by John Kelman
Published: October 22, 2017
Read On a Distant Shore CD/LP/Track Review On a Distant Shore
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: October 22, 2017
Read Friends & Heroes: Guitar Duets CD/LP/Track Review Friends & Heroes: Guitar Duets
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 22, 2017
Read "Urban Soul" CD/LP/Track Review Urban Soul
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 20, 2017
Read "Second Act" CD/LP/Track Review Second Act
by Mark Sullivan
Published: August 23, 2017
Read "Umbrella Weather" CD/LP/Track Review Umbrella Weather
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: January 24, 2017
Read "Been Up So Long It Looks Like Down to Me: The Micros Play the Blues" CD/LP/Track Review Been Up So Long It Looks Like Down to Me: The Micros Play...
by Troy Dostert
Published: March 3, 2017
Read "The Chase" CD/LP/Track Review The Chase
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 16, 2017
Read "Someone Else" CD/LP/Track Review Someone Else
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: July 27, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.