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Blue Thumb BTS-28 (1971)

Verve 440 065 406-2 [CD] (2003)

Affinity (E) AFF-193 (1981)

HIGH CONTRAST
Gabor Szabo
Hollywood, California, October 28, 1970
Gabor Szabo (g, el-g); Bobby Womack (rhythm g); Wolfgang Melz (el-b); Jim Keltner (d); Felix (Flaco) Falcon (cga).

a. Just a Little Communication (aka Communication)
    
(Bobby Womack) - 7:45
b. J-K Jive

Hollywood, California, October 29, 1970
Gabor Szabo (g, el-g); Bobby Womack (rhythm g); Wolfgang Melz (el-b); Jim Keltner (d); Felix (Flaco) Falcon (cga).

c. If You Don't Want My Love (aka Give it Back)
     (Bobby Womack) - 5:08

Hollywood, California, October 29, 1970
Gabor Szabo (g, el-g); Bobby Womack (rhythm g); Wolfgang Melz (el-b); Jim Keltner (d); Felix (Flaco) Falcon (cga).
overdubbed later (probably March 3, 1971)

Carmelo Garcia (tom-tom).

d. Amazon (Gabor Szabo) - 4:55

Hollywood, California, October 29, 1970
Mark Levine (p); Gabor Szabo (g, el-g); Bobby Womack (rhythm g); Wolfgang Melz (el-b); Jim Keltner (d); Felix (Flaco) Falcon (cga).
overdubbed later (probably March 3, 1971)
Carmelo Garcia (timbales). 

e. Fingers (Gabor Szabo/Wolfgang Melz) - 7:25 

Hollywood, California: February 1971
Gabor Szabo (g, el-g); Bobby Womack (rhythm g); Phil Upchurch (el-b); Jim Keltner (d); Felix (Flaco) Falcon (cga); "The Shadow" (Tommy LiPuma) (tamb, gourd); with strings arranged by René Hall.

f. I Remember When (Bobby Womack) - 7:35

same, Wolfgang Melz (el-b).

g. Azure Blue (Gabor Szabo) - 4:12

same, Phil Upchurch (el-b).

h. Breezin' (Bobby Womack) - 3:03 

same or similar.

i. Junk

Note: Master recordings indicate "Just A Little Communication" was initially titled "Bobby's Tune #1," "If You Don't Want My Love" as "Bobby's Tune #2," "Fingers" as "Gabor's Womack," "Amazon" as "Bobby's Tune #3," "Azure Blue" as "Bobby's Tune #4" and "Breezin" as "Sister Sonorita."

Issues: a & c-g on Blue Thumb BTS-28, Verve 440 065 406-2 [CD], Affinity (E) AFF-193, MCA (Jap) VIM-5601. 
Singles: h & g also on Blue Thumb BTA-200 [45]. 
Samplers: c & h also on MCA 29065, titled MEMORABILIA (1982). h also on Blue Thumb BTD-2-7002 [CD] titled ALL DAY THUMBSUCKER REVISITED: THE HISTORY OF BLUE THUMB RECORDS (1995), Brunswick (Ger) 584 664-2 [CD] titled LOUNGE LEGENDS VOLUME ONE (2002) and Boutique (Ger) 06007 5327466 [CD] titled GUITAR DREAMS (MY JAZZ) (2010).
Producer: Tommy LiPuma
Engineer: Gary Kelgren (a-d). Bruce Botnick (e-i).
Notes: N/A (Blue Thumb BTS-28). poss. Bob Fisher (Affinity (E) AFF193).


An unusually successful pairing of Gabor Szabo with R&B legend Bobby Womack. Szabo digs deep into a soulful groove, inspired by Womack’s silky smooth originals. HIGH CONTRAST is most significant for the lovely original, "Breezin," which Womack wrote especially for Szabo and which producer Tommy LiPuma parlayed into a huge hit for George Benson in 1976. Several other tunes included here ("Just A Little Communication" and "If You Don't Want My Love") Womack popularized in his score to the film, ACROSS 110th STREET (1971).


Endnote: Carlos Santana has always expressed great fondness for the performance of "Breezin'" heard here. Indeed, Szabo and Santana were close friends during this period and Santana was, at the time, attempting to escape the constraints of popular music and perform more of the exploratory music that Szabo was pursuing. One of the first results of this goal was the mostly instrumental album CARAVANSERAI (1972), which featured a quite remarkable performance of one of Jobim's most substantial pieces, "Stone Flower" (with tastefully added lyrics by Mike Shrieve and Carlos Santana). While there are several references points to Szabo heard here ("Conquistadores", "Spellbinder"), Santana expounded most eloquently upon Bobby Womack's "Breezin'" in the album's "Song Of The Wind". In addition to containing several quotes from Szabo's performance of "Breezin'," the Michael Shrieve, Neal Schon and Carlos Santana composition can easily be heard as a most intriguingly improvisatory riff on Bobby Womack's beautiful signature melody,.

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