Friday, 3 April 2015
Nothing better than some Eastern European fusion (and sausage): Debreceni Jazz Együttes, Hungary,1979
Look at that fantastic cover art!! doesn't it make you want to scream?
OK, maybe not.
Just take a deep breath here.
I will never forget my (Austrian) mother's sausage called the debreceni and so when I saw this title I jumped and laughed thinking I must buy this. Of course the Great Google not only informs us of the nature of this double entendre par excellence processed meat, it also tells us it's a soccer team a semi-nude woman, and a man with a WC Fields nose.
I was hoping this was going to be as good as Bright Sun which if you recall was such a masterpiece: synthesizing folk fusion and classical elements, and with such dark lyrics as well... Well this is more in the straightforward jazz style, on the dial from Charlie Parker jazz to Soft machine fusion we're at one point five units in the jazz direction here, whatever the heck that means. It's a bit jazzier than Polish Crash, and much less fusionoid than Christy Doran's Om.
A little surprisingly we don't see much Bartok influence such as was universal in Hungarian fusion and prog of this era. I would go so far as to say it's a shame there isn't a little more dissonance to spice it up here. Nonetheless a very enjoyable outing from behind the Iron Studio Curtain of 1979.
The last track is a formidable number especially with the gorgeously fluid electric piano sound we love oh so much. Starting with that abominable chord change that I mentioned before absolutely drives me bonkers due to its overuse in any kind of "spanish" music, I speak of the dreaded Eminor-F-G progression, sometimes modulated to other keys like Gm-Aflat-Bflat but in this case in the most facile and retarded E minor (I guess its ease on the acoustic guitar for flamenco is the reason behind this) anyhow, starting with this unpromising basis check out how the band moves into far more interesting and atmospheric territory:
And look at that amazing painting again. These Eastern Europeans were such absolute masters at impressive cover art...
And note the involvement of Simeon Shterev, featured before.