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GABOR SZABO - 1969 cover
2.48 | 5 ratings | 2 reviews
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Album · 1969

Filed under Exotica


A1 Dear Prudence 2:37
A2 Sealed With A Kiss 2:41
A3 Both Sides Now 2:54
A4 Walk Away Renee 2:42
A5 You Won't See Me 3:31
A6 Michael From Mountains 3:56
B1 Stormy 3:12
B2 In My Life 2:25
B3 I've Just Seen A Face 4:30
B4 Until It's Time For You To Go 2:18
B5 Somewhere I Belong 3:33

Total Time 33:08


- Mike Melvoin / organ
- Gabor Szabo / guitars
- Francois Vaz / guitars
- Louis Kabok / bass
- Randy Cierly / electric bass
- Jim Keltner / drums, percussion

About this release

Skye Records ‎– SK-9 (US)

Recorded at United Recording Studio, Los Angeles, on January 20-24, 1969

Thanks to kazuhiro for the addition and snobb for the updates

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GABOR SZABO 1969 reviews

Specialists/collaborators reviews

After working with Chico Hamilton for half a decade, Gabor Szabo took off on his own in the mid 60s and made a big splash with his unique music that combined Hungarian folk music with jazz and raga like long form improvisations. In between these more esoteric recording dates, Szabo would occasionally opt for a more money oriented direction and cut creative cover pop tunes for the 60s hip easy listening crowd. These albums are generally held in low regard by his jazz fans, but seekers of exotic instrumentals can sometimes find some odd gems here. “Gabor Szabo 1969” is not one of his best efforts in this area, but its not a total write off either. Szabo and his crew do give an honest effort here, the guitar sounds and stereo placements are much with the new hip 60s “hi fi stereophonic” sound, but overall the record seems a bit lifeless, even by easy listening standards.

There are a couple cuts on here towards the end of the album where Gabor digs a little deeper and gets jazzy with it. “I’ve Just Seen a Face” is ok 60s soul jazz with a nice B3 solo from Mike Melvoin, and “Somewhere I Belong” is an excellent Szabo style "gypsy-raga" jam with cool psychedelic effects. That last song alone might make this album worth purchasing if the price is low enough. “1969” is not of Sazabo’s better albums, but it may be of interest to his fans and collectors of interesting instrumentals.

Members reviews

Sean Trane
Having left the Impulse! label, Szabo signed for the more obscure Blue Thumb label to release a fairly uninteresting string of albums, including the present 1969, which you guessed it, was released that very same year. Despite the exuberant turning of the decade era, Gabor seemed to miss out on the power and demented freedom of the times. Despite a promising almost-Folon inner sleeve artwork, it seems that the west-coast soft-jazz spirit had overwhelmed him, and musicians like bassist Kabok and drummer Keltner seemed to dominate the potential power of the organ, played by Melvoin.

Yes, we’re definitely in a west-coast jazz, not too far from what the CTI label would make its bread and bitter in the following years. Little wonder that Gabor would also release albums for that label a few years later. But for the present, we’re dealing with low-energy jazz-pop, sometimes reminiscent of rearranged Beatles tunes (doh!!!) that would fit supermarket or elevator background music. The only time the album comes alive, is in the album-closing raga-esque and aptly-titled Somewhere I Belong. Indeed Gabor, too bad it took you a whole album to return to your natural grounds. A real snoozefest and IMHO, best avoided, though its main merit is that it won’t irritate more your eardrums than your discernment.

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