In process of stocking
Ebalunga!!! is coming back with a new long-awaited reissue of LP by the famous Hungarian guitarist, originally released in 1969. Gabor Szabo exploded onto the American jazz scene in the early sixties. His unusual approach and unique sound brought something startling and new to jazz. With Chico Hamilton, Charles Lloyd and Gary McFarland, Szabo offered something few in jazz had ever heard before: guitarist as enchanter and conjurer and musician as storyteller and mesmerist.
Once Szabo declared his independence in 1966, he also proved how seamlessly jazz can blend the Beatles and Bacharach with Latin and Indian styles. The guitarist released a string of albums on Impulse that challenged many assumptions about jazz and stand out today as some of the most radical, yet appealing music of the period.
But the times were woefully a-changing. Szabo biographer Károly Libisch considers the year 1969 a “turning point” for the guitarist. The spell Szabo weaved in the press was beginning to wane. The blizzard of coverage he generated in the previous few years began to trickle off. Perhaps the rise of rock – and rock-guitar heroes – tamped down the guitarist’s exotic allure and faddish charm. Then, too, Szabo’s erratic behaviour started attracting poor notices and hastened the demise of his storied quintet, featuring guitarist Jimmy Stewart and percussionist Hal Gordon, in late 1968. Now, both Gabor Szabo, the artist and businessman, needed a hit. 1969 was his response to the call of 1969.
The album was released in August 1969, initial reviews were positive. Cash Box raved that Gabor Szabo 1969 “is magnificent music, and an album that deserves great success” while Record World called it “luscious guitaring” that features “lots of contemporary material, which he makes completely his own.” Gabor Szabo 1969 never did find the success it was seeking. But it remains a lovely listening experience that finds the guitarist at his melodic best at an important crossroads in his recording career.