Gabor Szabo – Jazz Raga

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Although largely ignored today except by astute guitar students, the late Gabor Szabo left behind a large body of work that is still very much misunderstood. A descendent of Hungarian gypsies, Szabo’s guitar style was very much in line in with his heritage, full of dark and mysterious textures that were the antithesis of the modern jazz guitar sound of the ’50s and ’60s. For this out-of-print LP, not only does he play guitar, but he overdubbed sitar on all but one of the numbers. With originals that include “Mizrab,” “Search for Nirvana,” “Krishna,” and “Ravi,” the influence of Indian music is quite strong, and this must be the only album to have versions of both “Caravan” and The Rolling Stones’ “Paint It Black.” Szabo, who is joined by bassist Johnny Gregg, drummer Bernard Purdie and sometimes guitarist Bob Bushnell, emphasizes trance-like songs, but despite (or maybe because of) his attempts to be “with it,” the music is somewhat dated today.

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