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Saturday, May 18, 2019

CD Review: Marton Juhasz - Discovery


Marton Juhasz (composition, drums); Yumi Ito (vocals, text (track 8); Sergio Wagner (trumpet, flugelhorn); Paco Andreo (valve trombone); Enrique Oliver (tenor sax); Syzmon Mika (guitar); Olga Konkova (piano, Fender Rhodes); Danny Ziemann (bass)
(Review by Ann Alex)

This review marks my promotion on BSH, to reviewing a mainly instrumental CD, rather than a singer's CD. Then I read the written information, which tells me that a certain Lance Liddle heard this drummer at a gig, and stated that he had a 'prodigious technique'. I'm not sure if that helps or hinders, but I'll judge for myself anyway, thank you! 

Judge I did, and I loved what I heard. There are 11 tracks of original music, composed by the drummer, played adventurously and well by all, with the drummer fitting in seamlessly with the others, which to my mind shows us a musician who knows that the actual music comes first.


The musical 'feel' is of free jazz which describes the ideas suggested by the titles, making sense but never too much sense. The composer's basic idea is described as searching for a 'personal compositional voice' which tries to make sense 'of the dissonance that is part of human existence.' Don't know about that, I just enjoyed it!

So track1 Sea of Uncertainty is long dissonant chords, vocals of 'doh, doh', a bit frightening really, and very short. Then comes The Curve, drums and trumpet (or flugelhorn?), a wandering tune to a steady beat, then the trumpet playing in what sounds like 'curves'. Little Prayer I especially liked, the prayer had an eastern sound, played on brass and vocals, to tapping percussion.

Levian was all about whale noises, and I'm not sure if they were recordings or produced by instruments. If the latter then it was very clever, but of course whales are clever to make those noises as well.  Industry began with work in what sounded like an African village, clapping and singing, then a strong keys’ tune of heavy work, then 'tool' noises from percussion.

 The musical descriptions followed, Stino (not sure what this means, but it was very singable); Wolves Gather Under a Winter Moon; Spellbound; Camels In The Sky; Strange Glow. This was all rounded off with Run, brushed drums, high pitched keys, a slow repeated riff, ending with the brass playing notes down the scale.

Apparently our drummer began his career by winning the national 1st prize for percussion in Hungary in 2005. He went on to study at Berklee College of Music, and he has been active in Europe, working with musicians such as Alan Benzie. The CD was produced after a year of intensive work when the band was tutored by many top musicians, including Django Bates, Joshua Redman, and Gwilym Simcock.

The CD has been available since March 11, and is self-released. See www.martonjuhasz.com.
Ann Alex.    

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