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Thursday, May 2, 2019
Daniel Szabo, Visionary, New Music for Jazz Trio & Chamber Ensemble
It is music special to Daniel Szabo. It is well worked out, well arranged (listen to his version of Wayne Shorter's "Infant Eyes") and well composed. The premise is to begin with a core Piano Jazz Trio of Daniel Szabo on the keys, Edwin Livingstone on bass (with Mike Valerio substituting on "Infant Eyes") and then Peter Erskine on drums.
This is a lively and well heeled trio. Now add to that a chamber ensemble, a sizable small outfit that features string quartet and seven wind players (including tenor sax/flautist Bob Sheppard).
The music shows Szabo to arise deeply out of a Modern changes-oriented Piano Jazz, post-Bill-Evansian, post-Herbie-Hancockian and highly evolved. There are brilliant trio passages that show him to be a first-rate improviser and a brilliant trio leader. But then the chamber parts show a detailed "visionary" feel for how the New Music and the New Jazz can mesh together with perfect equanimity, with a common syntax built up out of an inner need more than some practical project orientation. The music is organic in critical ways so that the synergy of the "fusion" breathes freely and in ways that seem natural to the nexus Szabo forges.
It is impressive music, involving, evolved and ready-to-hand for a challenging and most happy series of listens. Szabo gives us stimulating and exciting fare! Listen.