Gábor Bolla – On the Move (2022)

Gábor Bolla - On the Move (2022)
Artist: Gábor Bolla
Album: On the Move
Label: Stunt Records
Year Of Release: 2022
Quality: FLAC (tracks)

1. Monky Donkey (7:50)
2. Love Is Love (8:30)
3. Chelsea Bridge (5:28)
4. Blue Tarif (7:26)
5. We See (5:23)
6. Lament (6:33)
7. Swingin’ At The Haven (5:12)
8. Blues On The Move (6:04)
9. Monky Donkey (7:38)


Gabor Bolla (ts, ss)
Robert Lakatos (p)
Daniel Franck (b)
Billy Drummond (ds)

In the 1960s, at one of the pinnacles of jazz music’s international popularity, many American stars of the genre landed in Copenhagen to play at the legendary Jazz House Montmartre – with several of the most prominent instrumentalists settling in the Danish capital and subsequently enriching the local music scene there with their presence and playing. For the listeners who were in the audience at that time, it’s impossible to talk about jazz today for very long before they mention fifirst-hand concert experiences with Ben Webster, Dexter Gordon, Stan Getz, Ed Thigpen, Brew Moore, Duke Jordan, Bud Powell, and Oscar Pettiford. The steady flow of elite jazz immigrants to Denmark has somewhat waned in recent years but every so often a fully developed foreign phenomenon relocates to the Nordic jazz haven. And when present day jazz fans hear Hungarian saxophonist Gábor Bolla play in venues around Copenhagen, it harkens back to a lush, joyous time in Danish jazz. Like the aforementioned American expats did in the 60s, Gábor Bolla carefully and confifidently assembles bands of local talent combined with stars from abroad. On this new album, the saxophonist has put together a stellar lineup and presents a program of his own compositions and jazz standards. As a saxophonist, Bolla is known for his powerful tone, razor-sharp phrasing, and unique understanding of music – and it will come as no surprise to learn that he’s a student of the great jazz tenor saxophone tradition, especially the playing of John Coltrane and Sonny Rollins. Credit for this album swinging so hard goes to all the musicians heard on it, but especially the quartet’s American drummer and historical heavyweight, Billy Drummond. Drummond has a rich history, to put it mildly, as a bandmate and contributor to the musical legacies of the biggest names in jazz, including Horace Silver, Sonny Rollins, and Chris Potter, and he continues to make his own unique contribution to the royal lineage of jazz drumming. On The Move features Bolla’s own compositions as well as four jazz standards he chose for the session: Monk’s We See, Ellis Marsalis’s Swingin’ At The Haven, Billy Staryhorn’s ballad Chelsea Bridge, and Lament by J. J. Johnson. The saxophonist and composer’s original, entitled Monky Donkey, is a tribute to the great Thelonious Monk and Kirk Lightsey (Gábor has been working with the latter for the past ten years) and features a captivating melody that will linger in listeners’ ears. Love Is Love is another original, this one inspired by universal love, with a romantic melody that develops into a hard-swinging conversation. Blue Tarif is a powerful, thrilling waltz, thick with exciting interplay and featuring the bandleader on soprano. Blues On The Move completes the album and takes listeners on a blues-oriented journey… a composition that moves like Gábor Bolla himself.

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