GABOR SZABO — The Sorcerer (review)

GABOR SZABO — The Sorcerer album cover Live album · 1967 · Fusion Buy this album from MMA partners
3.5/5 ·
Sean Trane
Another classic Szabo album for the legendary Impulse! label, The Sorcerer was recorded over two nights in the spring of 77 at the Boston Jazz Workshop with his then-group. Including fellow Hungarian-exiled bassist Louis Kabok, the band also featured drummer Morrell, percussionist Hal Gordon and surprisingly another guitarist/banjoist Jimmy Stewart. The general feel is a light upbeat guitar-oriented jazz with some hints of rock and Latin influences here and there, but some Indian-raga as well, but except for two tracks, I wouldn’t call the album Indo-jazz fusion per se. BTW, the Cole Porter cover of Thing Called Love is nothing exciting (IMHO)

While some tracks are gently Jazzy with Latin rhythms, like the opening Bono-penned Beat Goes On or the bossa-nova Little Boat, the album is relatively eclectic with a guitar and congas workout of the semi-successful Lou-ise; and over the flipside, the electric guitar feedback of the intro of the almost-7-mins Space also give a slight dreamy-psych raga that can only enthral rock fans. The calmer Stronger Than Us is a bit of an anti-climax with its all-too gentle harmonies, but the 7-mins Mizrab (named after the percussionist who’d played with Gabor in previous albums) is returning to the hypnotizing and demented raga that brings it close to rock soundscapes.

Interesting mainly for the flipside (IMHO, anyway), Sorcerer is another late-60’s album that showed another side to the Impulse! label, one that many might be less familiar with, since the Coltrane galaxy tended to over-shadow the rest. Despite the relatively uninteresting first side; the B-side is a pretty good companion to his previous album Jazz Raga.

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