Modern Art Orchestra Eclectic Path

BMCCD159 2009

In the music of the 20th-21st centuries, the big band represents a unique sound culture of the same importance as rediscovered Baroque tonality, the sounding of the symphonic orchestra improved from the classic tradition... and I could go on! Here, we are talking about the culture of the sound, if you understand what I mean. The quality of the ears and hearing. we don’t walk around with two sponges on our heads. So it is very important for us in Hungary what Kornél Fekete-Kovács is doing with the Modern Art Orchestra!

Péter Eötvös


Modern Art Orchestra:

Kornél Fekete-Kovács – conductor, trumpet, flugelhorn

Kristóf Bacsó – soprano sax, alto sax, flute, clarinet
Dániel Mester – soprano sax, alto sax, clarinet (not pictured)
János Ávéd – soprano sax, tenor sax, flute
Balázs Cserta – tenor sax, flute, clarinet
Mihály Bajusznács – baritone sax, bass clarinet

Gábor Varga – trumpet, flugelhorn
Ádám Gráf – trumpet, flugelhorn
László Simai – trumpet, flugelhorn
Gábor Bizják – horn
Attila Korb – trombone
Gábor Barbinek – trombone
Miklós Csáthy – bass trombone
Péter Kovács – tuba

Rhythm section:
Szabolcs Oláh – guitar
Gábor Cseke – piano (1,2,4,6,9)
Dániel Szabó – piano (3,5,7,8)
Viktor Hárs – double bass, bass guitar
András Mohay – drums

About the album

Recorded at Aquarium Studio, Budapest, 11-13 January, 2008
Sound engineers: Péter Rozgonyi and Tamás Gresiczki
Mastered at Studio R27 by Péter Rozgonyi

Photos: Barna Burger
Artwork & design: Bachman

Produced by László Gőz
Label manager: Tamás Bognár

Recording supported by the National Cultural Fund of Hungary and the Artisjus Music Foundation


Franck Bergerot - Jazzman / Jazz magazine (fr)

Franpi Barriaux - CitizenJazz (fr)

AAJ Italy staff (Angelo Leonardi) - All About Jazz ***1/2 (it)

Friedrich Károly - Gramofon ***** (hu)

Végső Zoltán - Élet és Irodalom (hu)

Szántai Zsolt - Ekultú (hu)

Sinkovics Ferenc - Magyar Hírlap (hu)

Márton Attila - Magyar Demokrata (hu)

Komlós József Jr. - (hu)

3500 HUF 11 EUR

Modern Art Orchestra: Eclectic Path

01 Late Musing (Szabolcs Oláh) solos: Kristóf Bacsó – soprano sax, Gábor Cseke – piano 5:31
02 Rain Dance (Szabolcs Oláh) solos: Kornél Fekete-Kovács – trumpet, János Ávéd – tenor sax 10:11
03 Dark Forest (Kristóf Bacsó) solos: Kornél Fekete-Kovács – trumpet, Dániel Szabó – piano 9:52
04 Full Moon (Kornél Fekete-Kovács) solos: Kristóf Bacsó – soprano sax, Szabolcs Oláh – guitar, Viktor Hárs – double bass, András Mohay – drums 9:51
05 Maslow’s Triangle (Kristóf Bacsó) solos: Dániel Szabó – piano, Kornél Fekete-Kovács – trumpet, Kristóf Bacsó – alto sax 8:56
06 Elliptic Path (Kristóf Bacsó) solos: Kristóf Bacsó – alto sax, Gábor Cseke – piano, András Mohay – drums 10:45
07 Chapter Four (Dániel Mester) solos: Dániel Szabó – piano 7:21
08 Down (Szabolcs Oláh) solos: Kornél Fekete-Kovács – trumpet, Szabolcs Oláh – guitar 8:53
09 The Fifth Seal (Viktor Hárs) 6:39
Total time 77:59

The album is available in digital form at our retail partners

Know and respect tradition, learn and develop from conviction, share these also with others, from the very bottom of your heart! – this was the ars poetica I kept in sight when in October 2005, I called the Modern Art Orchestra into existence. By now I can say that I have managed to implement all that. The creative core of MAO is made up of five composer-musicians; my very first task at the foundation was to win them over to this cause.

Besides my own activity as a composer, Viktor Hárs and Szabolcs Oláh already represented the creative spirit in the Budapest Jazz Orchestra. Kristóf Bacsó returned home after gathering experiences abroad, and set about exploring the opportunities with enormous energies and eagerness to act. Dániel Mester started to become familiar with the full orchestra composing and instrumentation, in which field he has since attained considerable successes at domestic and foreign contests.

When setting up the orchestra, I attached great importance to making sure that the rhythm section is the pedestal of the band in such a way that besides playing the particularly sophisticated orchestral positions perfectly, it also cultivates a manner of playing rooted in small orchestral jazz at a high standard. In addition to Viktor Hárs and Szabolcs Oláh, the great pianist, Gábor Cseke and the excellent drummer András Mohay with a remarkable feeling for music are also capable of that. Though representing a slightly different approach in his way of thinking and playing style, it is evident that also pianist Dániel Szabó belongs to our circle.

When organising the tooters, the brass-instrument section of the symphonic orchestra was the model for me. The composition of four trumpets, horns, three trombones, and tubas turned out to be much more flexible in its sounding than the traditional big band. This version is equally capable of rendering an aggressive, loud resonance as of providing a soft, gentle sound. As for the woodwinds, it is indispensable that besides the compositions written for the traditional big band, everyone should double on flute and clarinet.

In the workshop of the Modern Art Orchestra, we are attempting to expand the boundaries of contemporary Hungarian music. Hardly two years had passed since the orchestra was established, but over seven hours-worth of new compositions had been written for it. Without exaggeration, it can be called a record, properly illustrating the band’s exemplary activity.

Considering its musical image, more uniform material might have been recorded on the disc if we published a separate album for each composer. Yet along with its eclecticism, we opted for this selection. The compositions created for the recording of this disc, but left out can be listened to on the band’s website.

The album’s first composition is Szabolcs Oláh’s piece Late Musing, orchestrated upon the request of the orchestra, for a concert which featured him as a composer. The second track, Rain Dance is also his work. The piece works, as by performing it we managed on many occasions to make water gush forth from the sky… But in addition to this, I call the listener’s attention to the fascinating, magnificent play of the debuting tenor-saxophonist János Ávéd.

Dark Forest is one of the concentrated, deep-toned compositions of serious atmosphere from Kristóf Bacsó, in which we may enjoy Dániel Szabó’s piano solo.

Full Moon is a part of my larger-scale opus titled Dedications which I dedicated to the famous saxophonist, Dave Liebman. The suite deli-berately stayed within the borders of mainstream jazz.

Maslow’s Triangle and Elliptic Path are linked to each other. Even at the premiere, the orchestra played them attacca. Also here, we could perceive the unique intonation of Kristóf Bacsó, equally in the composition and the improvisation. The piano solo in Maslow’s Triangle is played by Dániel Szabó, while Gábor Cseke performs in Elliptic Path.

The piece Chapter Four was penned by Dániel Mester and it is characteristic of the author’s modern rhythmical and contrapuntal way of thinking. With regard to the entire disc, track eight can be regarded as the closing piece.

The last track, a composition by Viktor Hárs titled The Fifth Seal is much more a bonus track rather than a closing track, but a piece that gives an inkling of things to come, because we plan to record the contemporary classical compositions written for the orchestra on the MAO’s next album.

Kornél Fekete-Kovács 

Thanks to Kuplung, Take Five Jazz Club, Márton Székely, and ARTISJUS for making our continuous work possible.

Special thanks to our families, to Attila Árki and AUDMAX Kft for the Audio-Technika microphones, to Miklós Szilágyi, to the MI-ATT Kft for D’Addario strings, to DUO Music shop and to FON-TRADE.

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