Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Gabor Szabo - Mizrabdotdotdotdot
artworkGabor Szabo was an astoundingly good guitarist and writer. He inspired and contributed music to Carlos Santana ("Gypsy Queen"), and on certain occasions, you can imagine The Mermen evolving from his cauldron. Like many jazz greats, he found himself signed to a label that controlled his production tightly, resulting in an often fluffier and more polished sound than he had live. Creed Taylor's CTI was such a label. Even so, there are some brilliant moments here. No surf, but pure liquid guitar and occasional brilliance in production.
Picks: Mizrab, Thirteen, Concerto

Track by Track Review

Mizrab dotdotdotdot
Jazz (Instrumental)

Yikes! This is a monster. It is the missing link between the surf and the Mermen, between the psychedelic form and the art of compositional texturing. The Latin rhythms and the second guitar drones offset a melodic and dissonant ethereal adventure, aquatic and intriguing. There's not much better work from this period, and certainly it ties together pieces of the past.

Thirteen dotdotdotdot
Jazz (Instrumental)

"Thirteen" is a very sinewy instro, with a haunted melody and very delicate sound. Guitar and bass play a duet that's hard not to recognize the art in. That's the opening, then Gabor Szabo and company add in the rhythmic percussion and piano for an exotic ride. High art! This will grow on you.

It's Going To Take Some Time dotdotdot
Jazz (Instrumental)

The Carpenters' "It's Going To Take Some Time" is very light and fluffy, with strings and more. The percussion eventually brings in interest, but if you want more than just superb guitar work, this won't cut it.

Concerto dotdotdotdot
Jazz (Instrumental)

Easy listening jazz with an orchestral sound. You ca smell the CTI sound evolving. It's very well arranged for commercial potential, perhaps approaching the haunted majesty of Deodato's "2001: A Space Odyssey." Certainly the same production and arranging head must be at work. Lushness aside, "Concerto" grows on you.

Summer Breeze dotdotdot
Jazz (Instrumental)

Sad cello haunts this fluffy cover of Seals and Crofts' "Summer Breeze." Easily the weakest track here.