Gabor Szabo, who always had an original sound on the guitar (displaying his Hungarian heritage), is backed by a string section, horns and a rhythm section (including bassist Ron Carter and either Billy Cobham or Jack DeJohnette on drums) on this Bob James production. For this program Szabo performs two originals, a pair of pop tunes and an adaptation of a Shostakovich classical concerto.
Gabor Szabo's quintet featuring Jimmy Stewart was one of the guitarist's very best units. Live performances like this, recorded at Boston's Jazz Workshop, document some of the excitement the group stirred in 1967-1968. Included in the 1997 CD reissue are three excellent tracks ("Los Matadoros," "People," and "Corcovado") recorded at the same concert, which originally appeared on More Sorcery. The playing seems inspired, and the interplay within the group is something to behold - even when performing lightweight tunes like "The Beat Goes On."
In the late '60s, many jazz artists were ignoring the rock and soul hits of the day – when called upon to interpret popular songs, they stuck to their favorite Cole Porter, George Gershwin, and Irving Berlin standards and didn't see Beatles or Marvin Gaye hits as vehicles for jazz improvisation. But there were some jazz artists who didn't feel that way; Grant Green, Herbie Mann, and Charles Earland – just to give three examples – saw no reason why rock and soul tunes couldn't receive instrumental jazz makeovers. And on 1969, Gazor Szabo puts a jazz spin on popular songs of the 1960s, including "Walk Away Renee" (a major hit for the Left Banke), the Beatles' "In My Life," and Joni Mitchell's "Both Sides Now".
Collection of unreleased Hungarian recordings of Gábor Szabó from 1978-81. Features tracks from a concert in Hotel Hilton, Budapest, in collaboration with Hungarian artists like Kati Bontovics, Gyula Babos, János Másik and István Lerch and his last recording titled 'From A Dream', recorded in the studio of the Hungarian TV.