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Album Review

Mezei, Szilard Quintet – “Cerkno” – [Leo Records]

Max Level   6/11/2012   CD, Jazz

Mezei is a Hungarian Serb who composes music for, and plays viola in, all sorts of settings from solo work to duets, trios, and larger ensembles such as this quintet. On this live CD he leads a stellar group (viola, clarinet/sax, piano, bass, and drums) through some adventurous jazz compositions at a 2006 concert. Brainy jazz, but with lots of thrust and movement. These guys are fantastic players and the recording job is just right. Sometimes the sound will remind you of various other jazz groups that feature a violinist, but Mezei’s viola adds a different flavor–mellower and part of the group sound, teaming up with the other instruments and not always clamoring for your attention with high notes and solos. Tracks tend to run into one another, with breaks for applause between only a few of them.

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