Album Review

Mezei, Szilard Tubass Quintet – “Canons – 2nd Hoisting” – [No Business]

Thurston Hunger   3/1/2015   12-inch, Jazz

Tubadass is more like it. Heavier than heavy duty hoisting of Mezei and
three fellow bassists and then smack dab in the middle (literally, check
out the mixing) is tuba player Kornel Papista. It starts out with Papista
burrowing down from a starting point already in the molten section of
the orchestra, and pulling the quartet of double bass with him. Felt
like the lava levee was gonna break on that. “HEP 17 B” it’s abstract
jazz but almost connects at a primal rock or roll level.
Next up “HEP 16” has Ervin Malina and Erno Hock sprinting like
greyhounds on arpeggio races while we get some rubber band
slap, scrape and rattle from Szliard and Zoltan Csanyi on their
bases. Papista lays low some time and plays lower the other
time, he’s almost scurrying, if a tuba can scurry?
On the flip side, “HEP 15 F” has a kind of Escher 4 note riff
that launches some nice bowed bass lines, this is the most
string featured number and it’s pretty amazing the interplay
and teamwork that four bassist muster. Malina (I think, my
ears on headphones still could not see so well) adds some
abrasive sawing and the other bassist kind of derail the
staircase of riffs for a bit, then Papista gets foghorn deep
to slow things down, basses swirl around him, before the
steps return and then a profound, busy and deep musical

Finally “HEP 58/2” has a sorta swing to it, well an elephant with truck in its
trunk kind of swing. That start and stop, prehistoric funk-o-saur
opening and closing rhythm. A lot of drummers are going to be
dropping their jaws and picking up their sticks for a chance to
hammer away on a version of that some time I bet.

We have a few other Hungarian Mezei at KFJC, usually on
viola. This is a very different record, the combo and compositions,
from an excellent label out of Lithuania. It’s No Business, it’s art maaan!

-Thurston Hunger

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