SZABO: HIS GREAT HITS
Recorded: 1962-1967. Issued: 1971 (reissued 1983).
Interesting comments about this release by Richard B. Kamins in the October 1983 of Cadence magazine (and reprinted in edited form in the first edition of the All Music Guide to Jazz):
GABOR SZABO: HIS GREAT HITS is a compilation of tracks that the late guitarist Szabo recorded over a 3-year period (1965-67) plus a pair of tracks from his earlier association with drummer Chico Hamilton's group. The 18 cuts literally range from the sublime to the ridiculous. On one hand, you have the Hamilton cuts which are long improvisational romps -- on the other, you have these fluffy little "pop" tunes ("Twelve-Thirty" and "White Rabbit") replete with electric sitars and singers. Several of Gary McFarland's arrangements bury the poor guitarist under a landslide of horns and rhythm instruments. Still, Szabo's tone is unabrasive and many of his riffs have a nice fluid motion. Granted, this stuff may have sounded "exploratory" or "Fusionistic" 17 years ago, but now it sounds like background music. There are a great number of notables on these 4 sides -- Charles Lloyd, Tom Scott, Richard Davis, Phil Woods, Zoot Sims, Emil Richards, Ron Carter, Willie Bobo, and more, all these talented people squandered on the limp material.