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Jazz Raga Extra tracks

4.1 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Extra tracks, June 15, 2010
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Editorial Reviews

Digitally remastered edition of this 1967 album from the Hungarian guitarist. The world famous Impulse Jazz catalog is so cavernous, you truly need a music-minded flashlight to uncover its deepest and darkest secrets. Thankfully, Light In The Attic has recently acquired such luminescent technology and the first discovery is Szabo's Indo-fusion landmark, Jazz Raga. Combining Szabo's distinctive six-string touch and open-minded ideas, it brings together Jazz, Pop-Rock, and his native European influence, along with hypnotic sitar, stoned bass vibrations, occasional Psychedelic vocals, and the laidback, yet totally in the pocket, Latin/R&B infused backbeat of #1 session drummer, Bernard Purdie.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 15, 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Extra tracks
  • Label: LIGHT IN THE ATTIC
  • ASIN: B003FP0XCW
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #233,747 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By James Zinn on September 15, 2010
Format: Audio CD
I bought this CD at the great Love Garden in Lawrence, KS in an "impulse" buy (pun intended). I already own several other CDs by Gabor Szabo, and knew what to expect (can be too easy-listening at times). It did look/feel like a serious reissue, so I decided to give it a chance.

When I heard it, the very first track immediately reminded me some of record LPs like Revolver by the Beatles (1966), Little Games by the Yardbirds (1967, with Jimmy Page) and early period Grateful Dead (or just some Jerry Garcia licks?). I figured, well it was from 1966, so just a coincidence? Perhaps they and a lot of other great musicians from this period owned or heard this LP. And some of them may have picked up a thing or two from it. Or, they had common influences like Ravi Shankar, who was getting popular around this time.

Gabor's music is a kind of world-beat gypsy-jazz, with subtle percussion effects. This particular LP was during the start of the psychedelic/garage era of rock, so due to commercial pressures, would create covers of hit songs from the era, but not lame enough to be muzak. I find it to be a relaxing and musically entertaining listen and parts of it would make a great tape to listen to during a massage. Not lame enough to be compared among Sergio Mendes' tamer works. Great percussion is heard throughout, courtesy of one of the greatest jazz drummers who ever lived, Mr. Bernard "Pretty" Purdie. Also included are Jack Gregg (bass), Bob Bushnell (guitar), and Ed Shaughnessy (tablas).

The package and sound quality are first-rate, with remastering up to date; the audio quality literally sounds like they're playing in your living room (per my Cambridge Audio CD player).
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I absolutely LOVE the sitar, and own the instrument, and TONS of sitar raga albums. I also love jazz, so OBVIOUSLY this album should have been a slam dunk favorite. Unfortunately, some of his sitar playing is almost unlistenable. Gabor Szabo's CONCEPT for the album is fantastic. Produce a smash up of jazz and indian melodies and instruments, playing jazz and rock songs. Unfortunately, it sounds like he literally bought a sitar, then recorded the album later the same day. The resonating strings are NOT tuned properly, and when they are strummed they sound very OFF from the harmonies. Someone should have told Gabor not to mix raga scales, with any jazz tune that's NOT modal. The ONLY song that really works, is MIZRAB. (he must love that song, cos he rerecorded it on several albums, before naming an entire album "MIZRAB".) The song RAVI is pretty cool, too. But his sitar playing on songs like WALKING ON NAILS, or PAINT IT BLACK is dreadful. On the other hand, songs without sitar, like RAGA DOLL, sound beautiful. In Szabo's defense, I doubt that he was riding on the Donovan-Beatles-Stones bandwagon, just using the sitar to cash in on the psychedelic rock craze. He was already a well respected jazz guitarist on the west coast, having played guitar with Chico Hamilton for years, as well as influencing future fusion guitarists like Larry Coryell, and rockers like Santana and Robby Krieger of THE DOORS. Considering that this album was recorded in the summer of 1966, three whole years BEFORE Miles Davis used a sitar during his Bitches Brew sessions, I'd say this was forward thinking. In fact, I'd go one step further, and allow this album to lay claim as the FIRST psychedelic rock jazz fusion.Read more ›
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Format: Audio CD
Very nice to see yet another fine Gabor Szabo recording rescued from obscurity. Big thanks to the Light in the Attic Label for putting this CD package together. You get the original 1966 album by Szabo and a really nice booklet that's packed with details about the album, Szabo's career, and a reprint from a 1967 interview that Szabo did with Downbeat magazine. No bonus cuts, so this album is on the short side, but the quality is consistently good. Despite the "raga" theme of this album, it's not much different from most of the other recordings that Szabo did during the decade. If you enjoy his brilliant guitar artistry, you'll want to hear this album also.
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Format: Audio CD
I first heard this album when I was a senior in high school (Key West, Fla) in 1967. I may have been impressionable but I was certainly taken by Gabor's version of "Paint It Black". Yeah, I guess the sitar does sound a little dated now, but it brings back a certain time in my life and I still enjoy it. Best track on the album is the one without the sitar - Raga Doll, written by Gary McFarland. No one should overlook the fine contributions by drummer Bernard Purdie, especially his work on "Sophisticated Wheels" and "Caravan". All in all, considering when it was released, I still think it's a Szabo classic.

Now, if only someone would release the "Magical Connection" and "Nightflight" albums on CD, my search would be over.
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Format: MP3 Music
Recorded in 1967, Gabor Szabo’s [i]Jazz Raga[/i] still sounds as intoxicatingly fresh and wholly original as it did during those heady musically explorative times. People have always debated whether [i]Jazz Raga[/i] is a jazz record or a rock record, though no one will disagree that it’s an important record ... as it very well may have been the first jazz rock hybrid, making it the first jazz fusion album, coming out several years before [i]Bitches Brew[/i] by Miles Davis, or what Santana did on [i]Abraxas,[/i] and anything closely resembling what Herbie Hancock would later become know for.

The album feels unscripted, as if he’s in your living room rattling off notes in a manner that an artist sketches, where before your very eyes/ears, there’s a fully fleshed out brilliant drawing, or in this case song, sitting in front of you; leaving you to scratch your head wondering how in the world he got from A to Z in an almost magical manner. The most wonderful aspect of Szabro’s music is that there are no edges crashing up against each other, simply an infusion of layer upon layer of musical chords that weave their way into a dream state of nearly uncontrolled joy.

I find myself wanting to distance myself from the word ‘psychedelic’, however, coming from the mid 60’s, and here on [i]Jazz Raga,[/i] covering “Paint It Black” by The Rolling Stones, and on his live album The Beatles’ “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds,” the man has been deeply influenced by the changing times and the psychedelic counterculture. There are those who will say that they wish that he’d broken out a bit more, or pushed the boundaries, but that’s the charm of [i]Jazz Raga,[/i] it’s held in check when it comes to the notion of soaring, yet he flies free when it comes to presentation.
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