This is the first recording of Szilard Mezei released on LP. Synthesis of free jazz with some elements of folk music makes it an intrigue and challenging recording.
"Februári Fadöntés documents a fairly rare appearance on wax of Serbian-Hungarian violist / composer Szilárd Mezei, who's worked in formats ranging from string trio to orchestra, mostly in situations that allow a commingling of Hungarian folk forms (he also plays traditional music) and free improvisation. He's joined here on three suites by tenorman/clarinetist Péter Bede, bassist Ernö Hock and drummer Hunor G. Szabó. The sidelong piece which opens the record, "Akkorra / By Then", starts with a lilting melody played by unison tenor and viola, moving toward a swirling lament underscored by the chug of bass and drums. It's closer in feel to a Billy Bang loft-jazz unit than to the modern-classical camp with which Mezei is often associated. Painterly arco swabs (both sweeping and microscopic) hang in direct parallel to Bede's backwards-leaning Gerd Dudek-like peals. While not flashy, the rhythm section is substantive and gives constant nudge to the front line with blocky, unison bounce. The side closes with a gentle atonal theme, allowing areas of sparse clatter and gutsy push-pull between bass, viola and tenor amidst its funereal calls. The flip opens with "Pákák / Sedges," a measured environment for Mezei's languid bowing, hushed clarinet burble, and brushy outlines. The quartet moves in and out of short written passages, reflecting and gradually expanding on snatches of thematic material into flits, whispers, trills and tiptoes. The closing title track has a jagged, rondo-like swing that hinges on repetition; as Bede stretches out on tenor, the rhythm section adopts a cascading roll to match his funky, Rollins-like spurts. Taking the second solo, Mezei works through structural cells that make clear a compositional intent present throughout the entire set. Equal footing is given to tuneful heft and open-ended propulsion, making for an exciting and cohesive listen."