Jazz  Contemporary
Mihály Borbély Quartet Miracles Of The Night BMCCD309 CD
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FormatAudio CD
Ordering NumberBMCCD309
labelBMC Music
Release date18/11/2022
  • Balázs Horváth: double bass
  • Hunor G. Szabó: drums
  • Mihály Borbély: soprano, alto and tenor saxophones, tárogató, bass clarinet, flutes
  • Áron Tálas: piano, drums (11)

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      Description hide

      In this latest release by the Borbély Workshop, skeletal scores, and inspiration from poetry, the visual art and philosophy take on auditory form in the hands of this experienced and fecund group of artists. The typical ethno-jazz sound of the Borbély Workshop is less of a feature here, and emphasis moves from carefully notated compositions towards freedom, even more so than on their previous discs. On this CD, our wind musician trains himself, his fellow musicians, and the listener, to feel at home in fleeting moments.

      ‘Music of the night’ is how Borbély characterizes the music on this CD. It’s his second with this lineup for BMC Records since Grenadilla was released in 2019, and his sixth CD for this label. His description applies less to the mood and dynamics of the compositions, than to the ideal situation for listening to them, because a significant proportion of the CD consists of melodies that originated in free improvisation, and they require a meditative listener. The miracles of the night lie concealed, but the sharp-eared listener might detect the nuances that inspire and briefly appear, from Jancsó and Pilinszky to Miles Davis and John Coltrane. With this concept Borbély invites the listener into the dense air of the studio, where we find musicians playing with abandon for high stakes: Mihály Borbély (horns), Áron Tálas (piano, drums), Balázs Horváth (contrabass), and Hunor G. Szabó (drums) wallow in this ocean of improvisation, flashing countless musical colours, characters, and even extremes, embracing even humour and drama. Keeping the guidelines of this album, along its structural arch it’s increasingly easy to pick out the silhouettes of the compositions, as if the dark of the night were lifting.

      The Borbély Workshop was founded around the millennium with the leadership of Mihály Borbély, who is equally at home in folk and world music, jazz, contemporary music, and is a holder of Artisjus, eMeRTON, Gábor Szabó and Liszt Prizes, the Knight’s Cross of the Hungarian Order of Merit, and a Kossuth Prize as a member of the band Vujicsics. He asked similarly thinking musicians to join him. Their improvisatory music is characterized by a blend of various branches of jazz with the folk music heritage of the Carpathian Basin and the Balkans, seasoned with interesting melodic formulae, rhythms that are by turns refinedly transparent and vigorous, and elements of contemporary music. As well as concerts in Hungary and elsewhere in Europe, they have twice performed to great acclaim in Mexico. In 2004 they were awarded an eMeRTon prize as ?Jazz Band of the Year’. Their first album Meselia Hill was voted by the critics of Hungarian Gramofon magazine as ?Jazz album of the year’. Their next album, Hommage à Kodály was also received positively by both the critics and the public. In their third CD (Hungarian Jazz Rhapsody, 2014) they arranged pieces by composers of Hungarian jazz and hit songs. In their fifth and sixth albums for BMC Records, Be by Me Tonight (2016) and Grendadilla (2019), the focus is on a contemporary jazz-chamber music sound deriving from Hungarian and Balkan folk music, which in the case of Miracles of the Night (2022) is subsumed in a more universal jazz sound.

      Tracklist hide

      CD 1
      • 1.By Evening What Remains of Me / Estére mi marad belölem07:38
      • 2.Calling Distances / Hívó távolok03:26
      • 3.Threeplus Dreams / Nemhárom álom06:05
      • 4.Shadows, Awakenings / Árnyak, ébredések02:01
      • 5.Nocturnal Sketches / Éjszakai vázlatok07:13
      • 6.Knocks... Halts... Shadow Beckons / Kopog... megáll... árnya int...02:27
      • 7.The Waiting Itself / A várakozás maga07:15
      • 8.Is this Strange Too? / Ez is furcsa?01:26
      • 9.No Train, No Station / Se vonat, se állomás06:48
      • 10.Nightmare / Lidérc01:54
      • 11.Dawn Prayer / Hajnali fohász03:14
      • 12.The Light is Calling, Gently Waking Me / A fény már hív, kelteget07:01
      • Total:56:28