The Sanskrit expression, Sadhana (approx. ‘in meditation the ego dies’) may sound dramatic, but it means no more than that whatever action we
perform, be it celebrating mass or hoeing the earth, if we do it with a spiritual tendency, it will bring us closer to our goal, which ultimately is to be
at home in our own selves. But this home needs sound foundations. Mátyás Szandai knows this, and while he scans the skies, he also takes note
of what is on earth, in the material world. He digs deep to lay down his compositional and conducting foundations.
As a contrabassist, by virtue of his instrument he has long had both feet on the ground, and this groove-orientation is just as evident in this
composer’s CD. As is the fact that in his career to date he has, to coin a phrase, laid the foundation for a great many varied first-class musical
constructions, and Mátyás Szandai himself is of course also imbued with these influences. As regards Hungarians, suffice to mention the names of
the Viktor Tóth Trió, or the Dresch Quartet. While recording with the latter the album Hungarian bebop, he met the saxophone legend Archie Shepp,
and through him soon the cream of the French jazz scene. He has gained permanent partners musicians like David Murray, Herbie Mann, Chico
Freeman, Hamid Drake, William Parker, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Gerard Presencer, Chris Potter, Zbigniew Namislovsky, and many world-class musicians.
On this disc the listener is only intermittently brushed by the wind of these influences. Over the years Mátyás Szandai has distilled a kind of musical
essence from these inspirations, and now offers them to us in concentrated drops.
In this line-up the striking musical personalities come from different musical cultures, and what is more they all draw on several different sources.
The guitarist Nelson Veras is of Brazilian origin, and Pat Metheny discovered him when he was a child prodigy. The tenor saxophonist Ricardo
Izquierdo was born in Cuba, and is known mainly for trying stubbornly to renew his improvisation technique at every moment. The drummer Fabrice
Moreau is French: he first tried to depict moods in paint and only later came to sound, where his self-taught musicianship led to an instinctiveness
convincing for both big-name musicians and the audience too. The “branches” of these four musicians intertwined in the dense forest of the Paris
jazz scene. Mátyás Szandai has crossed many borders before coming to this disc. Now it is the listeners’ turn to lower their inhibitions, and let this
music trickle, flow, and burst through.
Translated by Richard Robinson