musicians - most especially guitarists - have reflected Gabor Szabo's distinctive
influence in their music. Even today, when so little of Szabo's music
is available to younger artists, the guitarist's influence happily remains
positive, strong and enduring. Gabor Szabo has also inspired a number of
dedications which bear his influence and the genuine affection for his
A.B. Skhy: RAMBLIN' ON (MGM/1970)
The second (and final) album of San Francisco blues-rock group A.B. Skhy featured the tribute "Gazebo (Dedicated To Gabor Szabo)." Written by the group's four members, Dennis Geyer, James Curley Cooke (who went on to play on Steve Miller's biggest mid-1970s hits), Rick Jaeger (later, a popular West Coast studio musician) and Jim Marcotte, the album's only instrumental traversed various aspects of Szabo's often-eclectic performances (the drum solo seems out of place, though). It's perceptive psychedelic jazz-rock - threatening to reach more toward country and, then, more toward Hendrix than Szabo would. But, nice overall. Cooke is the guitarist.
Sansara Music Band: PLAYS THE MUSIC OF LARS FARNLOF (1976)
The Sansara Music Band, featuring Lars Farnlof, Bernt Rosengren, Bobo Stenson, Thomas Ostergren and Sabu Martinez, presented a tribute to Gabor Szabo titled "Gabor's Elephant Dance" on this 1976 album, reissued on Japanese CD in 2008. The song is actually just an inventive arrangement of Szabo's own "Mizrab", given a new title by credited composer, Lars Farnlof.
Devadip Carlos Santana: ONENESS - SILVER DREAMS GOLDEN REALITY (Columbia/1978)
In one of his less frequent "solo" recordings, Carlos Santana here produced what amounts to a spiritual concept album. The music, consciously less commercial than regular Santana band releases, still retains Santana's well-polished familiarity yet places much of the musical prominence on Carlos Santana's instrumental talents (often in conversation with Tom Coster's synthesizers). The liner sleeve reproduces acknowledgements including: "This music is dedicated to Miles Davis, Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, Stanley Clarke, Milton Nascimiento, B.B. King, Eric Clapton, Gabor Szabo, Lyudmila Turishcheva, Billy Jean King, Cesar Chavez, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, and to all the people who live in their hearts." In addition to music by Alan Hovannes (!) and a theme derived from Gil Evans' "Las Vegas Tango" ("Golden Dreams"), Santana also covers Chico Hamilton's "Jim-Jeannie" - recorded by Hamilton in 1966 (on THE DEALER) shortly after Gabor Szabo left the group.
Lee Ritenour: RIT/2 (Elektra 60186/Discovery 71017 [CD]/1982)
Noted on the liner sleeve: "This album is dedicated to GABOR SZABO -- a great guitarist and musician whose music provided me hours of enjoyment and inspiration."
Lajos Dudas: I REMEMBER (Konnex/1984)
Hungarian clarinet-player Lajos Dudas performs his tribute "For Gabor" on this 1984 album with his band Sunshine State featuring Toto Blanke & Pannonton: Lajos Dudas (cl), Ernst Hartman (key), Toto Blanke (g), Teodossi Stoikov (el-b), Imre Koszegi (d, perc). Dudas also recorded the song with guitarist Phillipp van Endert in 2006 for his 2008 CD release, JAZZ ON STAGE (JAZZsick).
Lee Ritenour: STOLEN MOMENTS (GRP Records/1990)
In one of his infrequent returns to "straight jazz," the sometimes-wondrous, sometimes-anonymous studio guitarist Lee Ritenour produced an especially nice set of Wes Montgomery-influenced instrumentals in STOLEN MOMENTS. One may easily assume this melodic and well-played music is similar to what Gabor Szabo would be playing had he lived to record in the 90s (it's not too difficult to imagine him plying his trade at GRP too). While Ritenour's familiar style evinces seemingly little of Szabo's influence, he offers a special thanks in the disc's liner notes "to the following guitar players who've kept the "Jazz Guitar Flame" strong and inspired me for many years: Wes Montgomery, Kenny Burrell, Jim Hall, Howard Roberts, Joe Pass and Gabor Szabo." Drummer Harvey Mason, who plays on Szabo's album MACHO, accompanies Ritenour here and in their group Fourplay (which also features former Szabo associate, Bob James).
Santana: SACRED FIRE: LIVE IN SOUTH AMERICA (Polygram/1993)
Employing his talent for musical quotation, Carlos Santana provided something of a triptych of Gabor Szabo's career during this 1993 performance. Santana's well-known "Samba Pa Ti" here includes quotes from Charles Lloyd's "Forest Flower--Sunset" as well as Bobby Womack's "Breezin'" -- both, in their original incarnations, featuring Gabor Szabo. In addition to Santana's familiar "Black Magic Woman/Gypsy Queen," which made Szabo known to rock audiences, Santana quotes the Rolling Stones' "Paint it Black," a popular tune Szabo himself covered on the JAZZ RAGA album. Finally, Santana's crowd- pleasing "Soul Sacrifice/Don't Try This At Home" includes a quote from the Doors' "Light My Fire," which Szabo performed under Bob Thiele's leadership in 1967 on the LIGHT MY FIRE album (also included here is a brief quote from John Coltrane's A LOVE SUPREME).
Abraxas Pool (Miramar/1998)
The members of the original Santana band - Gregg Rolie, Neal Schon, Michael Shrieve, Michael Carabello and Jose "Chepito" Areas - reunited in 1998 and formed (with bassist Alphonso Johnson) the group Abraxas Pool. Their eponymous CD release features the Latin ballad, "Szabo," a tribute written by Schon and Shrieve bearing the familiarity of a Santana jam with a hint of Szabo's seventies-era ballad style.
Chico Hamilton: Heritage (Joyous Shout/2006)
In an amazing spate of four albums issued at the same time, Gabor Szabo's former boss and octogenarian Chico Hamilton, sought to combine surviving former bandmates (ok, just trombonist George Bohanon) with his existing band to craft a tribute to influences and friends as well as a nod of sorts to where the music is headed. "One For Gabor," featured on the fourth of these attractive, interesting and fairly excessive discs, is one of Hamilton's such tributes. Hamilton's wondrously talented current guitarist, Cary DeNigris, more or less stands in for Gabor, but sounds less like the guitarist of tribute (?) in sound and style here than he has elsewhere (check out this disc's "Chicano Heritage" for slightly better evidence of what, if anything, DeNigris has picked up from - or cares about - Gabor). Interestingly, Kyle Eagle's Wax Poetics-style notes don't even credit this tune on the disc's lineup. It's an engaging performance nonetheless. But short of the players' "channeling" of thoughts or feelings, the aural evidence has little whatsoever to do with Gabor Szabo.
Chico Hamilton: It's About Time (Joyous Shout/2008)
Chico Hamilton, revisiting the guitar-trio format which launched his solo career in 1955, gives a "Nod To Gabor", with Cary DeNigris on guitar and Paul Ramsey on Fender bass. The oddly brief CD, almost an EP of sorts (perhaps a nod to the original 10" release), gives 3 minutes and 19 seconds to the Szabo tribute heard here.