Audio CD (September 13, 2005)
Original Release Date: May 6, 1966
Number of Discs: 1
Format: Original recording remastered
Label: Impulse Records
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3. It Was a Very Good Year
4. Gypsy Queen
5. Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)
7. My Foolish Heart
9. Autumn Leaves/Speak to Me of Love
Spellbinder [ORIGINAL RECORDING REMASTERED]
April 2009 Week 4
DJ's delight! For this perfectly named 1966 set by ace guitarist Gabor Szabo, the Hungarian-born, gypsy-influenced stylist called in his former boss, drummer Chico Hamilton, along with Miles Davis bassist Ron Carter and Latin percussion kings Willie Bobo and Victor Pantoja for some unique takes of standards, originals, and contemporary pop tunes. The upshot? A swingin', shimmying, polyrhythmic tour de force of "Now Sound" grooviness that layers Szabo's sinewy fretwork over dance-floor movers like "The Cheetah" (an homage to the famed New York nightclub) and the driving, utterly relentless title cut.
With his ears finely tuned to the rock revolution happening outside the jazz world, Szabo was one of the first jazz guitarists to pick up on the emerging psychedelic sound, a marvelously mind-bending phenomenon that's all over Spellbinder--just check the raga-esque vocal version of Sonny Bono's "Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)" and the drone-drenched go-go shaker "Gypsy Queen" (reportedly where The Doors' Robbie Krieger got his opening licks for "The End"!). Of course, it wouldn't be a Szabo album without his caressing a tender ballad or two, and this one boasts misty-eyed readings of "My Foolish Heart" and "Autumn Leaves." A jazz-rock masterpiece. --This text refers to the LP Record edition.