Thursday 23 October 2014

Mihaly Borbely - Transylvanian Taragoto

Mihaly Borbely - Táragotó
While most birds fly south for the winter there was one rare specimen which landed at Twickenham Jazz Club last week (16/10/2014). The sighting of Mihaly Borbely wouldn't have excited many jazz twitchers but by the end of his performance the audience proudly displayed a new feather in their caps. Borbely is a talented multi-instrumentalist who was recently voted "alto saxophonist of the year" in his native Hungary ( Reader's Poll 2013).

Alex Hutton - piano
Strong, crisp and clear was his first call. The lyrical came later, as Mihaly Borbely navigated his way through a set dominated by standards. The trio that surrounded him were Alex Hutton (piano), Dave Green (bass) and Matt Fishwick (drums). Mihaly was the continuous subtle presence throughout the night. Yes, there were moment of virtuosity but showing off wasn't the raison d'etre for the man dressed in beige who stood before us.

Dave Green - Bass
Alex Hutton surprised and excelled all night. He was light and high of energy. Here is a man who is in love with life and creativity. There is always an intensity in his gaze and quite possibly his finger tips. Sometimes you fear this desire will drag him down but when he takes flight, as he did tonight, he does so on an inspiring swell.

The bookend of the first set, 'Bye Bye Blackbird', saw a rich and confident Hutton roaring with expression. With boyish golden locks bouncing, head thrust back with cavalier pride, he delighted the Twickenham Jazz Club audience. Always a favourite here, we gallivanted with his solos and danced with his daring. The reason for this positivity is that there is a new album on its way. Recently recorded with Asaf Sirkis and Yuri Goloubev, the central themes of the CD are embedded in the rich folk history of England.

Kelvin Christiane - Tenor Saxophone
It was a first entry in my sketchbook for Dave Green (bass) and exciting to capture Matt Fishwick (drums) once again. His last visit here being with New York altoist Mike DiRubbo in November 2013. Fishwick with a posture any super model would die for, was deliciously tight and unyielding on 'Caravan'. Direct might be the best way to describe his penetration. Between each steely thrust, Borbely danced an eastern odyssey. A romantic flow which erupted tiny geysers in the mind.

Matt Fishwick - drums
Between the alto breezes, Mihaly Borbely gave us the purity of his soprano on 'Round Midnight' and a delicate homage to Nature's beauty on Táragotó (Transylvania Blues). A TJC night wouldn't be complete without a fast-paced injection from Kelvin Christiane. This time John Coltrane's 'Giant Steps' gave our host a chance to park his finesse and catapult the finale with force.

Although this a was night built on standards, it still had ambition. There was a technical sparkle that will see Mihaly Borbely return I expect to these shores and it will be interesting to see how he was received at his second British date (St Bartholomew's Church) with the Paul Busby Big Band.


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