United Recording Studio; Los Angeles: January 20-24, 1969
Mike Melvoin (org); Gabor Szabo, Francois Vaz (g); Louis Kabok (b); Randy Cierly (el-b); Jim Keltner (d,perc).
prob. overdubbed later in New York City
George Ricci (cello); prob. Gary McFarland (arr).
Here, the guitarist performs beautifully on a Wes Montgomery-like program of melodic hits of the day, featuring such highlights as "Both Sides Now," "Michael From Mountains," "In My Life" and one that became part of the guitarist's repertoire, "Stormy." Also included here is Szabos interesting and moody composition "Somewhere I Belong" that deserves to go on much longer than its three minutes and thirty three seconds.
Remarkably, the marketing copy promoting the 2008 Spanish CD release of the album says it best: "(T)here were many jazz artists who wouldn't have touched these songs in 1969 — they would have insisted on providing yet another version of "Our Love Is Here to Stay" or "My Funny Valentine". But Szabo acknowledges that worthwhile popular music didn't die with George Gershwin. The Hungarian guitarist doesn't always stretch out as much as he could on this album. But Szabo still deserves credit for bringing a jazz perspective to songs that so many other improvisers were ignoring."