Gabor Szabo | Artist

Gabor Szabo | Artist

Tags: Era_1960s, Gender_Male, Genre_Fusion, Genre_Jazz, Origin_Hungary, Type_Artist

Gábor István Szabó was a Hungarian guitarist born 1936 in Budpest. One of the most original guitarists to emerge in the 1960s, Szabo mixed his Hungarian heritage and a distinctive sound with advanced jazz settings, working with several esteemed jazz ensembles, and as a soloist. He is often typecast as a Gypsy Jazz exponent, so called "Jazz Manouche." In the aftermath of the failed Hungarian uprising of 1956, Szabo escaped the Soviet reprisals by escaping to California. He later attended the Berklee College of Music in Boston between 1958 and 1960. The guitarist crafted a most distinctive sound; as agile on intricate, nearly-free runs as he was able to sound inspired during melodic passages. In 1961, Szabó became a member of a chamber jazz quintet led by Chico Hamilton which included Charles Lloyd. In 1965 he was in a jazz pop group led by Gary McFarland, then worked again with Lloyd in a quartet with Ron Carter, Tony Williams and Jimmy Stewart. During the late 1960s Szabó also started the Skye Records label with partners Gary McFarland and Cal Tjader. His solo career kicked off in 1966 with the exceptional debut album Spellbinder, which yielded many inspired moments including the song "Gypsy Queen," which Carlos Santana reworked and turned into the huge 1970 hit "Black Magic Woman". The influence of rock music found Szabo experimenting with feedback and more commercially oriented forms of jazz in the late '60s. Szabó continued to be drawn to more popular, commercial music in the 1970s, performing often in California, combining elements of Gypsy and Indian music with jazz. Perhaps the artist's recording peak came with his eighth album Dreams from 1968. Blending gypsy folk and jazz guitar explorations the album has been described as "very mystical, mesmerising and enchanting" and "one of the most beautiful jazz records from the late sixties". Before his untimely death in 1982, of natural causes, Szabo released 20 studio albums plus several excellent live albums. Standouts include Spellbinder (1966), Bacchanal (1968), Dreams (1968), Mizrab (1973) and the live album The Sorcerer (1968). As a footnote, legend has it that Szabo began playing guitar at 14 after being inspired by a Roy Rogers cowboy movie.

Artist Website: wikipedia/Gabor_Szabo

Featured Albums: Gabor Szabo

Related Artists: Gary McFarland, Chico Hamilton, Charles Lloyd

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