1965 - 1966
|These were, perhaps, the
most pivotal and decisive years in Gabor Szabo's career.
The guitarist flowered from mere player to recognized
musical force during this time. He recorded prolifically
throughout this time, initiated his own career and
committed some of his strongest work ever to record. He
challenged himself to a variety of musical styles,
succeeding comfortably in all -- and never once losing an
identity which was becoming clearer and clearer.
Fresh from scoring his Down Beat award for Talent Deserving Wider Recognition in 1964, Szabo began 1965 prominently featured as principal soloist and primary composer for Chico Hamilton's CHIC CHIC CHICO recording. Then on February 10, Szabo and his wife, Alicia, welcomed their son, Blaise, to the world.
While Szabo would continue to actively record with Hamilton for the next year and a half, he formally left the Hamilton group, along with Jimmy Woods, in April 1965. Szabo would be replaced in mid-1966 by Larry Coryell, a young rock-oriented guitarist more or less discovered by Bob Thiele as part of the jazz-rock group, Free Spirits (ABC ABC593). It was Thiele who introduced Coryell to Hamilton. From these early records to those with Gary Burton and his own, Coryell evinced a rough-edged blues tone that swallowed a world of influences. It seemed effortless for him to recreate the difficult 'Szabo sound' -- as well as an arsenal of alternative approaches. But his interests disallowed resting on one style of playing or music for too long. Over the years Coryell would continue to dabble in different groupings and radical shifts in style; Jimi Hendrix would soon endure a profound effect on Coryell too. But he eventually developed a more personal way of expression which now remains consistent as his environments continue to shift.
Coryell's brief six-month stay in the Hamilton band often overshadows Szabo's longer and more significant achievements in the group. This is probably due to the recognition Coryell earned over the years with the quantity and variety of his own projects and an ongoing willingness to be involved in a support role with important leaders (Michael Mantler, Charles Mingus, Sonny Rollins, Chet Baker). Still, Coryell credits Szabo "with reminding him of the importance of balancing technique with musicality" (Jazz Portraits; Len Lyons and Dan Perlo: Quill/William Morrow; 1989).
Charles Lloyd Quartet (March 1965): Charles Lloyd (ts,f--1); Gabor Szabo (g); Ron Carter (b); Tony Williams (d): see OF COURSE, OF COURSE.
Gary McFarland Quintet (May 1965): Sadao Watanabe (ts,f), Gary McFarland (vib,vcl), Gabor Szabo (g); Eddie Gomez (b); Joe Cocuzzo (d); Gary McFarland (vib,vcl).
Charles Lloyd Quartet (July 1965): Charles Lloyd (ts,f--1); Gabor Szabo (g); Ron Carter (b); Joe Chambers (d).
Charles Lloyd Quartet (Judson Hall, New York City: September 3, 1965): Charles Lloyd (ts,f--1); Gabor Szabo (g); Ron Carter (b); Pete LaRoca (d).
The Gary McFarland Orchestra (Lincoln Center Philharmonic Hall, New York: February 6, 1966): Clark Terry, Joe Newman, Bernie Glow, Bill Berry, John Frosk (tp,flg); Bob Brookmeyer, Jimmy Cleveland (tb); Bob Northern (fhr); Jay McAllister (tuba); Phil Woods (as,cl); Jerry Dodgion (as,cl,fl); Zoot Sims (ts,cl); Richie Kamuca (ts,bs,bcl,ehr); Jerome Richardson (bs,as,ss,cl,bcl,fl,pic); Gabor Szabo, Sam Brown (g); Richard Davis (b); Joe Cocuzzo (d) Tommy Lopez (per); Gary McFarland (arr,con, vib, marimba): see PROFILES.
Gary McFarland Quintet (February 1966): Gabor Szabo, poss. Sam Brown (g); Richard Davis (b); Joe Cocuzzo (d); Gary McFarland (vib).
Lena Horne (The Sands, Las Vegas: October 1966): Gerald Wiggins (p); Gabor Szabo (g); Albert Stinson (b); Lena Horne (vcl).