Gábor Winand Different Garden
Amazing at first, his ductile voice, so little concerned with imposing itself, transcends the technique of vocal art to reach directly the essential of expression. Furthermore his talent for improvisation – also inherited from a former saxophone and clarinet practice – his inimitably fluid phrasing, gracefully bypassing the potential traps of bad taste the greatest vocalists of the genre have not always avoided.
József Horváth Barcza (5, 6, 8) - double bass
About the album
Recorded at the Tom-Tom Studio, Budapest on 27-29/01/2004
Recorded and mixed by Attila Kölcsényi
Lyrics of Sunshower by Eszter Molnár with kind permission of Edition MAWI
Cover art by Meral Yasar based on photos by GBMY
Portrait photos: István Huszti
Art-Smart by GBMY
Produced by László Gőz
Executive producer: Tamás Bognár
The recording was sponsored by the Ministry of Cultural Heritage, the National Cultural Fund of Hungary and the Artisjus Music Foundation
Scott Yanow - All Music Guide ***1/2 (en)
Pascal Anquetil - Jazzman - choc (fr)
Michel Contat - Télérama - ffff (fr)
Francois Marinot - Le Monde de la musique **** (fr)
wqw - Krinein.com (fr)
Thomas Marcuola - Jazz Hot (fr)
Francesco Varriale - altriSuoni (it)
Juan Carlos Abelenda - Tomajazz.com (es)
Rui Duarte - Jazz.pt (pt)
Pallai Péter - Gramofon **** (hu)
Olasz Sándor - Rockinform (hu)
Laczkó Krisztián - Hajdú-Bihari Napló (hu)
Koller Balázs - Hangszer és zene (hu)
Gábor Winand: Different Garden
The album is available in digital form at our retail partners
It’s a known fact that Cole Porter moderately appreciated the licence Frank Sinatra took with the lyrics or the timing of his songs. “He might change his mind when he receives his next royalties statement” was Frankie the Rebel’s quietly arrongant reply. “Up to what point is it necessary to stick to the original text?” Many of the controversies in jazz history focus on this dilemna. They finally die out because the most intense part of this music has for a century relied on the very freedom performers take with the “text”. The first CD of standards the Hungarian singer Gábor Winand recorded for BMC merely re-endorsed this fact.
Great male performers are so few on the contemporary jazz scene that Winand’s recordings have immediately drawn attention. Amazing at first, his ductile voice, so little concerned with imposing itself, transcends the technique of vocal art to reach directly the essential of expression. Furthermore his talent for improvisation – also inherited from a former saxophone and clarinet practice – his inimitably fluid phrasing, gracefully bypassing the potential traps of bad taste the greatest vocalists of the genre have not always avoided. An “instrumental” voice, in the spirit of Chet Baker’s, whose singing and trumpet reflected their double shade in the unsounded mirror of inner landscapes.
Winand remains here inseparable from the guitarist Gábor Gadó, composer and musical director of his previous recordings. Their unforgettable version of Weird nightmare by Charlie Mingus * – worthy of the greatest models of the genre, in particular the Ella Fitzgerald/Joe Pass duet to which they often refer – made us expect this standards recording; the Gypsy double-bass player József Horváth Barcza and the saxophonist Kristóf Bacsó, their regular companions in Hungary, join this pair of lovebirds.
This is a story of gardens. Different gardens. Each with its particular landscape at a precise moment in a season. Moving things grow. Simples, ephemeras, impatiens, rare species. Centennial trees anchored to the ground.
Unexpected flowerings born of seeds of chance carried by the wind. Images of jazz standards swarming beyond frontiers their many versions of reference to, some day, somewhere, touch a listener to the point of shiver.
It is significant, especially concerning these musicians coming from a former Eastern bloc country, and consequently the specific aspects of their access to some works of art, to go back to initial emotions, each referring to a particular version of the selected standards. Up jumped spring and Bird alone to Abbey Lincoln’s album You gotta pay the band with, amongst others, Stan Getz, Hank Jones and Charlie Haden. Turn out the stars (a cosmic theme par excellence for Gábor Gadó) to Paul Motian’s Quartet version on the Bill Evans CD.
Sunshower – here with original lyrics by Eszter Molnár – to Ron Carter’s interpretation with Kenny Barron and Buster Williams on the Piccolo album. An immediate feeling of simplicity and freshness enduring beyond the flow of time...
My heart belongs to daddy doesn’t refer directly to Marilyn Monroe, but to the version of some obscure singer. The rhythm remained in Gadó’s memory like a folk song, opened to a new harmonization alternately dark or ironic, where Kristóf Bacsó’s playful tenor encounters the tradition of the great black music saxophonists.
Despite such reverence for American standards, this recording is different from the overseas model, as Winand and Gadó remain deeply inspired by the Old Continent cultures, to begin with the one of their native Hungary. The influence of the Kodály system, leading to a particularly natural relationship with the voice, and including this ability to invest every note with an emotional function is traceable here, as well as the influence of Orthodox choirs and European classical music. Likewise, formally, the heritage of Gypsy music, through an “earthy” conception of the double-bass on which complex rhythms and harmonies are juxtaposed, or the decision to conclude some pieces on their major resolution – some elegant way to bid farewell on a ray of hope. Underlining further this attachment to roots, two original titles complete the repertory.
Special time by Gábor Gadó is special in several ways. It refers to the year of its composition when Hungary was opening itself up to democracy – a period of radical changes in the life of the guitarist – and also to the pulse conceived in two beats (though some musicians might hear it in three).
Csengő (small bell, in Hungarian) was composed by the saxophonist Dániel Váczi. This title, subject to some untranslatable pun, was initially written for the baptism of a little girl named Csenge, each phrase being punctuated in this occasion by the sound of a small bell. From the original – a theme, a bass line – Gadó has developed a fascinating arrangement where voice, guitar and soprano timbres intertwine in a mysterious contemplative liturgy, recalling the great baroque composers.
These tunes, which so imperceptibly begin to inhabit your memory, might well become tomorrow’s standards, along with other masterpieces included in this CD, as Body and soul (Gábor Winand’s bedside theme, a capella) and In a sentimental mood, the only tracks to escape such precise reference. So many historical versions, so many opportunities to be, once more, overwhelmed. Hence a justified hesitation when approaching them – is it a coincidence if Gadó’s introduction to In a sentimental mood opens like If I knew where to begin in Winand’s previous CD? Eternal question: “If I knew where to begin...”
No doubt, these musicians know. Very precisely. Exploring together the standars repertoire – which require the winding up of the passing of time and the sketching of a perspective of the future – they work out their poetic quest of an exact present with the precision of tightrope walkers. The first impression can be resumed in one sentence of Rainer Maria Rilke: “Everything is simplified, reduced to a blueprint, exact and clear, like the face in a painting from Manet.” Quite an ambitious challenge in itself. Moreover, successive listenings disclose unexpected backgrounds gradually appearing, in a refined architectural conception where Gadó’s formal art as a composer fully asserts itself. “Each chord has a mystic function: what will express a voice, a pitch, the choice of an interval rather than another?” This question sums up the spiritual search of a musician whose work is enamelled with symbols reflecting his constant yearning for ascent – angels or birds wings, bells, long strokes throwing themselves into the sky like spires of imaginary cathedrals open to meditation.
Here is the answer, inner experienced by musicians mostly concerned about being – and being in music – before appearing. The title of the first CD Gadó recorded for BMC was One glimpse is not enough * *. A suggestion more relevant than ever in our time of zapping and trivialities, so often neglecting the real motivation of any gesture, even improvised...
Therefore these gardens – anything but indifferent – are worth staying in, to take the quiet walk of a stroller attentive to nuances in the air, to shades of time, to the cycle of the seasons, to furtive scents, to the rustling of wings: in short to the long patience of the forever renewed universe, so similar to the daily life of these modern jazz adventurers.
Translated by Isabelle Battioni and Ates Orga
* Corners of my Mind – BMCCD057
** One glimpse is not enough – BMCCD028
Gábor Winand (1964, Budapest)
Gábor Winand started his musical studies on the clarinet, and then after finishing primary school turned to singing. At the age of 19 he was admitted to the jazz department of the Bartók Béla Conservatory, where his teacher was Attila Garai. After completing the school he soon found himself in the band of Gyula Babos, one of the great personalities of the Hungarian jazz world.
After meeting Gábor Gadó in 1990, he started to work with his band Joy, and they made successful appearances at many festivals.
Later he often played with the Trio Stendhal, led by the saxophonist László Dés, with the ESP orchestra, led by the trombonist László Gőz, and with the pianist György Vukán. Meanwhile, continuing his instrumental training, he learnt to play the saxophone, and then the flute.
Since 2001 he has been a member of the Elemér Balázs Group, with whom he has recorded two discs. With the orchestra he has played with Charlie Mariano, as well as playing at the London Jazz Festival, the Skopje Jazz Festival, and in a number of European cities, such as Berlin, The Hague, Vienna, etc.
Also in 2001 he took part in the Hungarian Radio singing competition as a member of the jury, and Al Jarreau, the chairman of the jury, expressed great delight in Winand’s performance in the gala concert following the competition, then invited him to share the stage in his own concert.
His current formations include the Bosambo Trio, the band of the Cuban singer Elsa Valle, and his own team, the Winand Quartet, with Péter Rozsnyói (piano), József Barcza Horváth (bass) and András Dés (percussion).
In recent years he has again played with Gábor Gadó, with whom he has recorded albums released under his own name. The French magazine Jazzman awarded his album Corners of my mind the “Choc de l’année” prize in 2002, awarded to the most outstanding albums of the year.
With the material from his own albums, he has recently received many invitations to France (Jazz Festival de Souillac, Jazz Festival de Tours, Mittel Europa Jazz Festival Schiltingheim, Paris, Valenciennes).