Review by Ken Cheetham
István Grencsó: reeds; Máté Pozsár: piano; Róbert Benkő: bass; Szilveszter Miklós: pen.
Guests: – Szilárd Mezei: viola; Ádám Meggyes: trumpet, pipe; Ábel Fazekas: clarinet, pipe; Gergő Kovács: baritone saxophone, pipe.
Recorded April 2015
Throughout this double album there are resonances of the essence of the music of Bartók and Kodaly, and that too of Coltrane and Shepp, Keith Jarrett and Cecil Taylor. The music will move you, too, as it sweeps between moments of unobtrusive tautness and passages of outrageous pandemonium, often linked via diffident, melodic flotsam and jetsam, evocative of burgeoning uncertainty.
Hear too striking harmonies and gorgeous arrangements especially of piano sections and all transported with dramatic tenor, suggestive of fervour of entreaty. There is occasional gloominess too, but all is recovered when the dazzling trumpet and virtuoso viola ease onto the scene and equilibrium is restored, the balance unadulterated and the music free.
Free music? Free jazz? This is a great collaboration by SLAM.
Review by Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
Downtown Music Gallery
“These are the compositions of György Szabados played by The Grencsó Open Collective: István Grencsó reeds, Máté Pozsár piano, Róbert Benkő bass, Szilveszter Miklós drums, with guests Szilárd Mezei, Ádám Meggyes, Ábel Fazekas and Gergő Kovács.
I wasn’t familiar with the Hungarian composer György Szabados before this disc arrived here earlier this week (Feb 2016). I did recall Mr. Szabados as a pianist who collaborated with Anthony Braxton and Vladimir Tarasov in a trio with a fine disc on Leo Records. And lo & behold, Mr. Braxton wrote the liner notes for this marvelous 2 CD set. The music here is performed by the Grencsó Open Collective, a strong quartet (personnel listed above) with another four guests. The only name I recognize here is their guest, Hungarian violist Szilard Mezei. Mr. Mezei is an underground hero to adventurous listeners everywhere with dozens of great releases and but is still sadly under-recognized. Disc One begins with a churning acoustic bass intro before the majestic piano comes in. The frontline of soprano sax, viola and piano spin magically together in exquisite waves, the currents building and expanding. Eventually the soprano and viola erupt together as the piano breaks into tight, difficult written section for the entire quintet. As the group speeds up to a furious tempo, Mr. Grencso takes an astonishing soprano solo with Mezei’s viola weaving tightly around him. On “Supplication”, the collective starts with slow and hypnotically. At the heart of these pieces, are what sounds like timeless folk melodies which hover between several flights of fancy with the collective erupts into more intense freer sections. On “Adyton”, a more spiritual sounding melody is at the center played by an incredible trumpeter (Adam Meggyes) and Grensco’s powerful tenor sax followed another great solo from Mezei’s viola. The second disc is equally impressive as the ancient melodies make way for more inspired solos for all members of the collective. There are two more impressive guests on the last piece, clarinet and bari sax, both excellent players. In a more fair world, all members & guests of this collective and the compositions of Gyorgy Szabados would get the strong recognition they rightly deserve. Either way, it is up to you the demanding listener to give this great disc a serious spin.