Bálint Gyémánt True Listener
The formation of the Bálint Gyémánt Trio represents the fullest development to date of an artistic need long in the maturing for him, both as composer and performer. The songs presented on this album provide an insight into a creative microcosm that leaves broad space for the dialogue between the instruments.‘The trio is my playroom, and what’s more, my partners are wonderful musical personalities, who are able to perfectly implement my musical ideas, while also providing enormous inspiration.’
Bálint Gyémánt – electric and acoustic guitar
Tibor Fonay – double bass
László Csízi – drums
Shai Maestro – piano (3, 5, 7, 11)
About the album
All songs written by Bálint Gyémánt
Recorded at BMC Concert Hall on 8-11 January, 2017
Recorded, mixed and mastered by Viktor Szabó
Artwork: László Huszár / Greenroom
Produced by László Gőz
Label manager: Tamás Bognár
The recording was supported by the National Cultural Fund of Hungary
George W. Harris - Jazz Weekly (en)
Claude Loxhay - Jazzhalo (fr)
Thierry Giard - CultureJazz (fr)
Franpi Barriaux - CitizenJazz (fr)
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Robert Ratajczak - Long Play (pl)
Jan Hocek - Jazzport (cz)
Peter Dobšinský - skJazz.sk ***** (sk)
Turi Gábor - Gramofon **** (hu)
Dr. Szabó Csaba - JazzMa (hu)
Bornemissza Ádám - Kortárs Online (hu)
Czékus Mihály - HFP online (hu)
Olasz Sándor - Riff (hu)
Márton Attila - Demokrata (hu)
Komlós József Jr. - Alföldi Régió Magazin (hu)
Bálint Gyémánt: True Listener
The album is available in digital form at our retail partners
Diversity and synthesis have been basic characteristics of Bálint Gyémánt’s career since the beginning. His love for the instrument and music took shape in him while he was studying classical music. The influence of a classical background can be felt to this day in his tone, his technique, and his mentality. At the age of sixteen, he started studying with Gábor Juhász, who immediately passed discs by Scofield and Metheny to the young man, who until then knew of jazz only by name. The jazz genre, which is able to form an organic relationship with any music, to this day represents the most exciting inspiration for him. The composition Pathway stands as a monument to this transformative experience, and pays hommage to Pat Metheny.
Gyémánt obtained his performing and teaching masters degree in Budapest, and at the same time won a scholarship to the Norwegian Academy of Music, which had a particularly strong influence on his artistic attitude. He met Veronika Harcsa as a student of the Ferenc Liszt University of Music, and ever since then their meeting has proved to be a renewing source of creativity, either with the album Lámpafény, which sets twentieth-century Hungarian poems, or with experimental electronic music with the band Bin-Jip.
His collaboration with the singer has resulted in seven CDs, on four of which Bálint is not only a performer, but participated as a composer and creative partner. Their last two albums were made as a duo, released in Western Europe by Traumton Records, and in Japan by Whereabout Records. The songs Lifelover and Tell Her brought unusually rapid international fame to the two artists.
The formation of the Bálint Gyémánt Trio represents the fullest development to date of an artistic need long in the maturing for him, both as composer and performer. The songs presented on this album provide an insight into a creative microcosm that leaves broad space for the dialogue between the instruments.‘The trio is my playroom, and what’s more, my partners are wonderful musical personalities, who are able to perfectly implement my musical ideas, while also providing enormous inspiration.’ The soaring impressionist compositions are counterpoised by neo-Romantic ballads, including Indigo and the title track, True Listener, with a melodiousness that recalls Gábor Szabó.
Four tracks on the album feature the world-famous pianist Shai Maestro, as a guest of Bálint Gyémánt. The Israeli-born artist appeared in the trio of contrabassist Avishai Cohen alongside drummer Mark Guiliana, and this highly productive line-up recorded four albums. Maestro continued his meteoric career at the helm of his own trio accompanied by Ziv Ravitz and Jorge Roeder. Maestro, who concentrates on the deeper levels of emotion, is close to Bálint not only in age but also in artistic worldview. The guitarist says of their partnership:‘I wondered for a long time about how we could make certain compositions more complete for the recording session. Shai’s participation is a dream come true; he shaped my compositions with incredible humility. We needed no rehearsal, or long explanations: we were able to communicate fluently through the language of jazz. On this disc we have recorded for posterity our first musical meeting, full of sparkling moments of spontaneity and risk. I learned a tremendous amount from this cooperation, and what’s more I think his presence lifted our music-making as a trio to a new level, something for which I am very grateful.’
Gyémánt, who consciously works as both performer and teacher, strives to leave his own musical imprint on whatever he works on. Although the desire for development and openness to new influences results in a career in continuous motion, True Listener, like a snapshot, depicts this vigorous musical world with pin-sharp contours and brings it close to the listener.
Translated by Richard Robinson