Szabo, Gabor

Band members               Related acts

- George Bohanon -- trombone

- Jon Faddis -- trumpet

- Eric Gale -- lead guitar

- Bob James -- keyboards, synthesizers 

- Louis Johnson -- bass

- Ralph MacDonald -- percussion

- Harvey Mason -- drums

- Idris Muhammad -- percussion

- Tom Scott -- sax

- Gabor Szabor (RIP 1982) -- lead guitar

- Ian Underwood -- synthesizers



- none known





Genre: jazz-rock

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  Macho

Company: Salvation

Catalog: SAL 704 S1

Year: 1975

Country/State: Budapest, Hungary

Grade (cover/record): VG/VG

Comments: minor ring wear

Available: 1

GEMM catalog ID: 4880

Price: $20.00



I'll readily admit I bought this album for the motorcycle cover and for the Motown connection ...  This was the last album released on Creed Taylor's Motown distributed Salvation label.  I didn't have a clue who or what Gabor Szabo was ...


I'll also tell you that most jazz-rock leaves me stone cold.  This is an exception to the rule.  Produced by Bob James, 1975's "Macho" is goofy enough to be consistently entertaining.  Backed by an impressive collection of jazz and funk sidemen including James, Louis Johnson, Ralph MacDonald and Tom Scott, Szabo does a pretty nice job of showcasing his guitar chops on a downright weird mixture that included stabs at classical-cum-disco (an adaption of Franz Liszt's 'Hungarian Rhapsody # 2'), James' funky 'Transylvania Boogie' and the Steely Dan styled atmospheric rocker ('Time'). As a guitar player Szabo's performances were quite enjoyable, occasionally reminding me of Jan Akkerman with his crisp and angular attacks (be sure to check out his work on the title track).  It was all quite smooth and well executed while managing to avoid the pompous excesses that sunk much of the genre.  It won't rock most of your worlds, but it's better than 95% of George Benson's catalog.


"Macho" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Hungarian Rhapsody # 2 (instrumental)    (Franz Liszt) - 6:52

2.) Time (instrumental)   (Gabor Szabo) - 5:38

3.) Transylvania Boogie (instrumental)   (Bob James) - 5:31


(side 2)
1.) Ziggidy Zag (instrumental)   (Harvey Mason) - 5:58

2.) Macho (instrumental)   (Gabor Szabo) - 9:13

3.) Poetry Man (instrumental)   (Phoebe SNow) - 4:28


During a 1982 return to his native Hungary Szabo fell ill and was taken to a Budapest hospital.  Perhaps a result of a longtime heroin addiction that he'd finally kicked in the late-1970s, he was diagnosed with liver and kidney failure.  Only 46, he died in the hospital and was buried in a nearby cemetery.  When she died several years later Szabo's mother was buried next to him.






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