Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Mihaly Dresch Quartet with Chris Potter - Zea [Live] (BMC RECORDS 2016)

When Dresch starts a solo, you get the feel that you are reading his mind. That little bird of a melody trembles first when it opens its wings, ventures upwards, and also ponders the depth below. It crosses forests and pastures before the journey ends. Dresch is a perfectionist, no doubt about that, but he never wanted to display fireworks, he is too straightforward not to speak his mind. Instead of positioning himself out front all alone, he was always interested in teaming up with players who think along similar terms as he does, while doing some of those things in a different way.

Potter is the perfect guest: he never becomes too talkative, nor does he just nod away at the ideas Dresch raises. Check out Legényes, the tune which is the type of music accompanying the peacock-like solo dance of young lads, first trying to catch the attention of the girls, and then speeding up into a virtuoso display of jumps and kicks, slapping their ankle proudly to the rhythm. 

Potter has mastered the rhythms and harmonies of the Hungarian and other ethnic components, he is able to show that there is rhapsody in his soul, too, elegantly filling the framework of the folk-songs that are in fact compositions of Dresch. In the duos with the bandleader and truly inspired by the forward-moving bandwagon you can hear hilarious dance-driven passages in which they trade solos and go all the way together. Potter proves why he has become one of the top sax players on the global scene. While the drive, the urge, the vertigo (check out the final track) are the fruits of decades of determined work by Dresch and his quartet, fitting into all that so smoothly and so creatively on both his horns, in both the accompanying and the soloing roles, you needed somebody of the stature of Chris Potter. Kornél Zipernovszky

Miklos Lukacs – cimbalom
Hock Erno – double bass
Istvan Balo – drums

Chris Potter – tenor saxophone, bass clarinet

1. Togo
2. Zea
3. Legenyes / Lad’s Dance
4. Amott legel / Grazing Yonder, Six Bay Horses
5. Free
6. Hazafele / Homeward Bound
7. Ereszkedo / Falling Gently
8. Futas Miska / Get Your Skates on, Mick!

All compositions by Mihály Dresch except tracks 2, 5 written by Chris Potter and track 1 written by Ed Blackwell, arranged by Chris Potter
Recorded live by Müpa Budapest at the Festival Theatre on 16 April, 2012
Sound engineer: Miklós Monoki
Mixed and mastered by Viktor Szabó
Artwork: László Huszár / Greenroom