Gábor Gadó Homeward
With this record, Gábor Gadó returns to his Pan-European cultural heritage, as well as to the vitality, nourished by ethnic diversity, that has for centuries been a decisive force in shaping the musical image of his homeland.
Gábor Gadó - guitar
Gábor Winand - vocals (1,2,3,5)
Mihály Dresch - tenor sax (3,4,5,7)
Ferenc Kovács - violin (3,7)
Mátyás Szandai - double bass (1-5,7)
Elemér Balázs - drums (1-5)
Matthieu Donarier - tenor sax (6), soprano sax (7)
Sébastien Boisseau - double bass (6,7)
Joe Quitzke - drums (6,7)
About the album
Recorded at the Roxound Studio, Hungary
Recorded and mixed by Péter Glaser
Mastering: Péter Erdélyi
Text of Archaic by Viktor Hárs
Cover photos: Dániel Németh
Portrait photo: István Huszti
Design: Meral Yasar
Produced by László Gőz
The recording was sponsored by the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and the National Cultural Fund of Hungary
Gábor Gadó: Homeward
The album is available in digital form at our retail partners
The "homecoming" of this Hungarian guitar player from France is more than just a noble gesture to those at home. Homeward is a metaphor that encapsulates interlinking or overlapping symbols. With this record, Gábor Gadó returns to his Pan-European cultural heritage, as well as to the vitality, nourished by ethnic diversity, that has for centuries been a decisive force in shaping the musical image of his homeland. The notion of "homecoming" however depends on an absence, and thus can only be authentic if this duality is not cloaked in hypocritical mystery. Homeward expresses this inherent duality with heartfelt honesty. Hence this CD is not only special due to its complexity, but is also a fully authentic production with regard to its aims and conceptual clarity.
Gábor Gadó was born in Budapest in 1957. He began his musical studies on the violin, later switching to the classical guitar. He graduated in 1983 from the Budapest Jazz Faculty, now an autonomous department of the Ferenc Liszt Academy of Music, having studied under Gyula Babos. He started to compose soon after, while playing with top Hungarian jazz musicians, including Róbert Rátonyi Jr., Ferenc Snétberger, Attila László, Béla Szakcsi Lakatos, Elemér Balázs and Kálmán Oláh. As time passed, he began to play with increasing frequency in international ensembles, with famous artists such as Gerard Weasley, Randy Ross and Shammy Jinda (György Jinda). He has lived in Paris since 1995, and has worked for a short time in London. The material for his highly successful Greetings from the Angel was prepared with his present quartet, which has been active on the French jazz scene since 2000. The recording was made in Budapest, with contributions from Hungarian musicians.
Homeward is Gábor Gadó's fifth recording, and the third CD produced in co-operation with the Budapest Music Center since 1999. It is representative of both Gadó's French quartet and the renowned Hungarian musicians who make their presence felt in a highly sensitive and ingenious way in a special musical atmosphere.
Singer Gábor Winand is an adept performer of Gábor Gadó's compositions, which have formed a part of his repertory for some time. His singing voice and mature technique adapt harmonically to Gadó's increasingly characteristic lacing of melodies. This co-operation has given birth to exceptionally beautiful solos, exemplifying a high level of concentration on each other, even in the more jazz-like improvisations.
Special mention should be made of the two solo saxophone players, Mihály Dresch (Hungary) and Matthieu Donarier (France). Dresch is one of the very few jazz musicians whose music is imbued with a Central European mentality, while Donarier surprises the audience with a brilliant instrumental technique, paired with an exceptional emotional richness.
The violin of Ferenc Kovács, a member of the Dresch Quartet, is another unmistakable, unique sound on the recording, and he excels in performing the Central European and slightly Balkan motifs, appearing for the first time in Gadó's pieces. To top this off the band features a rhythm section with an almost identical level of sensitivity, consisting of double bass players Mátyás Szandai and Sébastian Boisseau with drummers Elemér Balázs and Joe Quitzke. Though Gábor Gadó's instrumental performance is high soaring, elusive and translucently ethereal, it determines every part of the production, mainly with its melodic, harmonic richness and abstract conceptuality rather than by its dominance. The meta-communicative content of his music is discernible not only to his fellow musicians, but has also an appreciable effect on the audience, elevating them to a state approaching grace. The clear conceptual aim of Gadó's compositions may eclipse even the significance of his guitar playing. In an interview given on the occasion of his previous record, he expressed the basic motive for his creative intention as follows: "I look for meaning and content in all kinds of music, and I aim at a clear, intelligible expression in mine. As for the reception of music, I do not conceive it as some kind of a laboured analysis; it simply requires that I understand its meaning and be able to communicate my message to others."
Homeward projects dual emotions, interpretations, approaches and relationships simultaneously. The effect of the French way of existence and point of view, combined with the Hungarian emotional attitude and general feelings, (in one composition, the merger of the two), is especially significant in this production. To ensure the authentic expression of these, Gábor Gadó chose French musicians for the former and Hungarian musicians for the latter. Finally, we must not forget the literary inspiration behind the musical composition, which has been an essential element in the background of Gadó's compositions for years. To demonstrate this, here is a quote from one of our earlier conversations: "Each person has an inborn, internal source of energy that usually defines his every communication. Of course, it matters if one is reticent or open by nature; though one may not be better than the other, it defines your way of living. In my case, since childhood, external inspiration, especially books, have always played a very important part."
translated by Fruzsina Balkay, Eszter Molnár