Áron Tálas Trio Little Beggar
As for Áron's own compositions – and all the tunes are his own on this album – apart from their startling originality, there is an unpretentious freshness about them that would appeal even to a non-jazz audience. Yet it is just that fresh simplicity which makes these themes terrific vehicles for improvisation. In his playing Áron is equally capable of great lyricism and soaring passion.
Áron Tálas – piano
József Barcza Horváth – double bass
Attila Gyárfás – drums
About the album
All compositions by Áron Tálas
Recorded at BMC Concert Hall on 9-10 August, 2017
Recorded by Zsolt Kiss
Mixed and mastered by András Nyerges
Artwork: László Huszár / Greenroom
Produced by László Gőz
Label manager: Tamás Bognár
Raul Da Gama - JazzdaGama (en)
Tom Fuchs - Piano News (de)
Hans-Jürgen Schaal - Jazzthetik (de)
Matti Komulainen - Jazzrytmit (fi)
Jan Hocek - Jazzport (cz)
Z.K. Slabý - UNI (cz)
Peter Dobšinský - skjazz.sk ***** (sk)
Turi Gábor - Gramofon ***** (hu)
Simády Béla - Jazzma (hu)
Márton Attila - Demokrata (hu)
Olasz Sándor - Riff.hu (hu)
Szabó Károly - hangzasvilag.hu (hu)
Komlós József JR - Alföldi Régió Magazin (hu)
Áron Tálas Trio: Little Beggar
The album is available in digital form at our retail partners
Hungary seems to be a breeding ground of world-class pianists. If fame doesn’t always go hand-in-hand with talent, it could be down just to bad luck but more likely to the fact that the musician in question is not American. Although nowadays there is probably more jazz being born and played in Europe than in the States, European audiences still tend to be automatically in awe of jazz artists from the US.
Let’s just play around with the idea of a guy in his mid-twenties surfacing in New York as a formidable pianist, an original composer, a drummer good enough to teach his craft at Juilliards and a useful bass-guitar player all rolled into one. His chances of being heard and noted would be pretty good, news of him would travel fast in jazz circles, critics would latch on to this exciting fresh talent and by the time he came to the Old World he would be probably idolized even before he played a note on a European stage.
Fortunately for his homeland and, perhaps, unfortunately for him, the brilliant pianist on this album with all the attributes mentioned above, was born, trained and is playing in Hungary. Áron Tálas is only 27 but is already one of the go-to keyboard men in his country that is certainly not lacking in great pianists. As for his own compositions – and all the tunes are his own on this album – apart from their startling originality, there is an unpretentious freshness about them that would appeal even to a non-jazz audience. Yet it is just that fresh simplicity which makes these themes terrific vehicles for improvisation. In his playing Áron is equally capable of great lyricism and soaring passion.
His opening tune, “Little Beggar” is a measured, reflective piece imbued with the rich Hungarian folk tradition. His passionate nature dominates on tracks like “Chicken Run”. On the fast passages one cannot help feeling that he would be an ideal interpreter of Bud Powell. Áron never slurs his notes and plays with admirable clarity. One can easily understand his choice of musicians for his trio on such demanding tunes like “Hendersong” or “Ke-Bop”.
József Barcza Horváth, originally a classical player who finally found his freedom in jazz, is one of the great virtuosos of the double bass whose solos of sometimes astonishing speed invariably display and incredible melodic coherence. You have prime examples of that on the two tracks I just mentioned. Yet, as an accompanist he is humble and is absolutely in tune, in more than one sense, with his fellow musicians.
The drummer, Attila Gyárfás is the same age as Áron and already possesses the faultless dynamics that are essential in a combo like this. “Big Talk” is a track where the quality of this wonderful rhythm section is well to the fore. There is also a beautiful piano-bass duet on Áron’s thoughtful, gentle ballad, “Epigramma” and just to show his versatility, the album ends on “Cheese Gig”, a short, humorous, loving parody of the music of the 1920s.
At the beginning of these notes I was playing with the idea of what would be Áron’s fate had he been born American with the same gifts. However, there is already one American who took note of his abundant talents. No lesser person than the prestigious pianist, composer, arranger and producer, Jon Cowherd was interested enough to listen to these tracks. He is one of the mainstays of the Brian Blade Fellowship whose own quartet, apart from Brian, included Bill Frisell and John Patitucci. Jon had this to say of the music on this album:
“Wow! Very impressive record Áron. Beautiful melodies interspersed with challenging piano passages that show a connection to both jazz and classical history. The album is very diverse in its style and ideas but each track is connected by your singular voice and creativity. The compositions are beautifully written and stand on their own but also showcase your virtuosity. That’s no easy task. Congratulations, man!”