Szilard Mezei – viola | Ervin Malina – double bass | Istvan Csik – drums, percussions
Recorded at Studio Vilenjak, Novi Sad, Serbia, May 25 & 30, 2006. Recording engineer: Sasa Milankov. Mastered by Szabolcs Kapui, Harmonia Sound Studio, Gyor, Hungary. Graphic work: Erzebet Mezei. Photos: Csaba Mikus. Cover design by Imre Sebestyen Jr. – Unitgraphics.com
Tracklist: 1. Induló / March [06:18] 2. (dedicated to Tibor Várszegi) [07:27] 3. Lynx [07:58] 4. Most nem / Now no [08:55] 5. Hep 3 [14:24] 6. Háromfa / Threetrees [05:01] 7. Te beszélsz, én elalszok / You speak, I fall asleep [11:32] 8. Bármikor, most / Anytime, now [08:02] 9. [05:20]
is a contemporary European violinist, violist, double bass player, composer and leader of various formations; he is perhaps the greatest hope of European jazz violin since the tragic death of Polish violin master Zbigniew Seifert in 1979. Szilárd Mezei was born February 12th, 1974 in Senta, Serbia (then Yugoslavia) as a member of the Hungarian minority in the multiethnic region of Vojvodina. He completed his violin studies in Senta and Subotica and studied composition for four years at the University of Arts in Belograd under prof. Zoran Eric. He plays contemporary improvised music, mostly performing his own compositions. As a composer, Mezei is interested in exploring the relationship between improvisation and composition (similarly to Witold Lutoslawski’s aleatoric and Anthony Braxton’s creative music methods), incorporating elements of jazz and authentic folk music as well. As a young musician he followed the path of B.Bartók and Gy.Szabados. Mezei is also very actively involved in composing scenic music and plays authentic Hungarian folk music on genuine folk instruments (koboz and oud). He leads the Szilárd Mezei Trio, Szilárd Mezei Quintet (/ Sextet / Septet / Octet), and plays in many formations (duo, trio, etc.) for improvising music (among others, in duet with György Szabados, and with his own orchestra MAKUZ, The Fonda/Stevens Group. This CD presents Szilard’s trio, performing fascinating blend of jazz, classical, and traditional ethnic folk music.
This is a studio disc recorded in Serbia
in May of 2006. The titles of the pieces are listed in both Hungarian and English, so we have an idea of their specific title. “Indulo” (March) opens with a most memorable repeating viola theme and strong groove from the fine rhythm team. Szilard takes a long and exciting viola solo which is followed by another inspired bowed bass solo. Both members of the rhythm section can also be found in Szilard’s quintet, whose disc on Leo is a true gem. Two of the pieces here are named with small diagrams so there is no telling what they mean, yet they sound just as great as the rest of the pieces. In some ways this trio reminds me of the Revolutionary Ensemble, especially since the instrumentation is so similar. Szilard has that great free/jazz string sound that we all know and love, his solos consistently intense and inspired. I dig the twisted somewhat Braxtonian pizzicato intro to “Lynx”, which features a completely bent-note solo from the viola, as well as a more laid-back yet just as twisted solo from the bass. I love the forlorn, haunting melody of “Most Nem/Now No,” completely stripped down yet still evoking deep sadness. Another thing that makes this trio special is that they are completely acoustic and superbly recorded. The balance and interplay between all three musicians is superb. The drummer. Istvan, often plays delicately and inventively throughout, swirling around the drums quickly without ever losing his dynamic force. The two longer pieces, “Hep 3” and “You Speak, I Fall Asleep” both go through a variety of interconnected sections , which organically evolve like a story unfolding most naturally. In a blindfold test, many would guess that this is The Revolutionary Ensemble, no small feat for a little known trio from Hungary. BLG (Downtown Music Gallery)
CD version (incl. shipment cost world-wide)
MP3 version (106.96MB zip download)