Artist/Composer:Gábor Winand
 Title:Agent spirituel
(P) 2003
Jazzman - CHOC
Jazz has always enjoyed a paradoxical relationship with singing. For jazz instrumentalists have always tried to make their mode of expression the closest possible to vocal expression. And jazz vocalists take inspiration from instrumental improvisation. With others, Gábor Winand is renewing the basis of this paradox by turning it inside out like a glove.

Franck Bergerot, Jazzman

Notes musicales


01. Sanctuary
9:28
02. If I knew where to begin
7:22
03. Searching for the light
10:37
04. Let me know peace
5:56
05. Friends like you
8:41
06. Greeting from the Angel
11:28
07. Time
8:07

 Total time: 61:41
Performers
Gábor Winand - vocals
Gábor Gadó - guitar
Kristóf Bacsó - alto and soprano sax
József Horváth Barcza - double bass
Elemér Balázs - drums

Ákos Ács - clarinet (1, 2, 5, 6)
Kornél Fekete-Kovács - trumpet (2, 5)
Ferenc Schreck - trombone - (1, 2, 3, 5, 6)
László Gõz - trombone - (1, 2, 3, 5)
Production notes:
All compositions and arrangements by Gábor Gadó
Lyrics by Eszter Molnár
Recorded at Tom-Tom Studio in January 2003
Recorded and mixed by Attila Kölcsényi
Mastered by István “Sztív” Tóth
Cover art by Meral Yasar based on photos by István Huszti
Portrait photo: István Huszti
Design: Meral Yasar
Architect: Gábor Bachman

Produced by László Gôz

The recording was sponsored by the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and the National Cultural Fund of Hungary

Bruno Pfeiffer - Jazzman (fr)
Thomas Marcuola - Jazz hot (fr)
Krinein.com (fr)
Patricia Bussy - Openmag (fr)
Psychologies (fr)
indiepoprock.net (fr)
H. Magyar Kornél - Gramofon (hu)
Retkes Attila - Magyar Hírlap (hu)

Click on the image for higher resolution!Jazz has always enjoyed a paradoxical relationship with singing. For jazz instrumentalists have always tried to make their mode of expression the closest possible to vocal expression. And jazz vocalists take inspiration from instrumental improvisation. With others, Gábor Winand is renewing the basis of this paradox by turning it inside out like a glove.

Born in 1964, he studied the clarinet from the age of eight. Later, widening his studies, he took up the
saxophone and the flute. Jazz came long after when, at eighteen, he heard Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong. The following year he entered the Béla Bartók Academy of Budapest, to study singing in the jazz class. More precisely, to study jazz with only his voice as a tool, since, it is said, he didn’t waste much time with his singing teachers. “Either you have a voice or you don’t”, he explains, without false humility. He has one. One of the rarest in Europe, able to play all the registers equally firmly, without apparent effort, with disconcerting easiness. To sing in English doesn’t worry him – though a question in Shakespeare’s language can make him blush. His companion, Elsa Valle, who teaches singing, is stunned every time he tackles a new English text. “I have to study every text before I start singing. He can sing it right away. He takes it all on board, even before learning it.”

Most surprising is his relaxed attitude towards improvising. In the beginning he started by scatting in the classical way. His influences? Ella, without doubt. Jon Hendricks, surely. “I listened to jazz singers, but I never attempted to imitate them. I just tried to enter into what they were doing.” Mark Murphy? Never heard of him. Leon Thomas? He could have taken from him his quick appoggiaturas from chest to head voice, but he doesn’t use them systematically or turn them into cliché. Just one figure of phrasing amongst many, slipped into an onomatopoeic vocabulary belonging only to him. Less percussive than other jazzmen, less dental, more diphthonged, legato and melismatic. Obviously, he has lent a careful ear to extra-European traditions but without ever getting lost in them and without letting them threaten the coherence of his art.

“Instrumental music influences me,” he confides, only to contradict himself immediately: “When I improvise on the saxophone or the clarinet, I sing. If I improvise through singing, it’s because it’s while singing that I learnt to improvise.” Here is the crux of the matter! “To tackle a new piece”, he clarifies, “I prepare myself like an instrumentalist, looking at the chord progressions and structure at the keyboard. The clarinet and the keyboard gave me the discipline of an instrumentalist.” Absolute pitch? “No.” But, he adds mischievously, this child raised in the Kodály system, “I have very good relative pitch.” Therefore, we can understand the easiness with which he masters Gábor Gadó’s scores. His favourite composer is also one of the most disturbing melodists one could imagine, a creator who leaves tunes in your head for weeks without you ever being able to reproduce their tortuous meanders.
Everything is placed in a harmonic context raising thousands of ambiguities. Winand feels no fear following Gadó into the most libertarian contexts. Even if it means abandoning himself without guide, to face the drums alone.

“My style matured at the beginning of the 1990’s. I have been working with Gadó since then. We know each other well. I understand his music, his world. He knows my voice.”
Eszter Molnár’s words fit Gadó’s tunes to perfection. Her earlier texts* dealt with the relation between men and women in a conventional manner. Those of Agent spirituel are permeated with the spirituality of a composer tormented by the dark shadows of the human soul. Nathalie, Pascal and the Angel, the leitmotiv of Gadó’s work, here takes the title of Sanctuary, while the painful supplications of Greeting from the Angel gain depths previously unknown.

The orchestra gathered around Winand contributes to the renewal of Gadó’s world. Arranged like a chamber ensemble, it thrives on the precise musicality of a rhythmic tandem renowned throughout Hungary. His principal soloist, a native Hungarian, spent three years at the prestigious Berklee School in Boston before returning to his country – without losing his soul. We will be hearing more of the saxophonist Kristóf Bacsó.

Franck Bergerot, Jazzman
(English translation by Isabelle Battioni)


* Homeward by Gábor Gadó and Corners of my mind by Gábor Winand.



Sanctuary

Coming home
In the night
Looking up
To the light
Shining brightly,
A guiding star
Beckoning, welcoming me

- Your window,
Guiding star
Beckoning, welcoming me home

My beacon
My haven
An island of tranquility

Though I’ve searched
Far and wide
All this time
All my life
Just realized it’s
By your side that I found
A meaning to life

- Peace of mind,
By your side
Finally found my sanctuary
My beacon
My haven
An island of tranquility

*
Promise
Promise you’ll always be there
Swear
Swear that you’ll always be waiting
Shining
Beacon

Always
Always been there to show the way
Voice of conscience
Keeping me on the right path
Guide me
Guide me


If I knew where to begin

Is there anyone out there
Who can say
If I could go back in time
Would not change
Would not deny
Would not exchange
A single moment
Can any of you honestly say

No regrets
No shameful secrets
To cause you pain
Haunt you in your dreams at night

Should you ask I must confess
There are moments I’m ashamed of
Many things that I regret
Many things to make amends for
And if I knew where to begin...


Searching for the light

Green hills standing all around
This valley where I live
Lived here for a long time
A dull place where the rain falls
And the sun don’t ever shine
Dawn to dusk
Clouds obscure the sky
Grey mist clouds the eye
Never ever get to see beyond
Those green hills standing guard over us

Ref:
So I’m off in search of the light
That’s right

Wanna see what lies out of sight
Right now

Green hills round us standing guard
Feels just like a cage
Goin’ out into the wide world
Broaden my horizons
Go searching for the light
So don’t try
Try to hold me back
I’m off to try my luck
(’cos I) gotta see what lies beyond
Those green hills standing guard over us

Ref:
So I’m off in search of the light
That’s right
Wanna see what lies out of sight
Right now


Let me know peace

Father
Father, I’ve tried
Tried to live by your creed
Wise words
So hard to follow
I’m a reed shaken by the wind
Father
Too weak
Too weak to heed
Too weak to heed your word
Why
Why not let me find
Why not let me make my own rules
And though I don’t live by your book
– Turn the other cheek
Much too hard to keep
I’m too hardened to forgive –
Let me know peace


Friends like you

Now – I can see right through your mask
Worked for a while but that’s all past
No, you can’t fool me with your smile
Never quite reaches those cold grey eyes
*
You looked so innocent
You knew just what to say
To make me think you were a friend
To trust when I was down, so down...
*

Never questioned
Your affection
Never doubted
Your intentions
Underrated
You ambition

*

So – this goodbye will make my day
Nothing left to say
Let’s just go our separate ways
*

Yes – ’cos with friends like you around
There’s a surprise round every corner


Greeting from the Angel

Through the lofty Gothic portals
Sunlight blending into shadow
Vaulted arches towering

Candles flickering, scent of flowers
Through the brightly coloured glass panes
Sunlight streams in blindingly

Silence, deafening, footsteps muted
Wary stranger, timid, breathless
To the altar drawing near

I have come here seeking solace
Not in search of prayer or answers
Hear me
Hear me

I did not come to seek forgiveness
Do not wish for absolution
Hear me
Hear me
Hear me

Hear me ask you for a signal,
give me a sign
– head bowed I stand,
waiting here in supplication,
need a greeting from the Angel –
proof that there’s a higher being,
a force benign, a rock, a cradle,
a hand to hold in times of trouble
a wiser being to look up to,
a kinder being than us mortals
need a greeting from the angel

I have come here seeking solace
Not in search of prayer or answers
Hear me


Time

Time – sand trickling through
the glass
Time – a shaft of shadow
following the sun

Time – clocks ticking off the hours
Time – bells pealing out that soon the day is done

Time – measuring out our lives
Endless – while the years stretch out before us

Time – sometimes so slow to pass
Time – sometimes it moves too fast for looking back

*

Time – will slowly veil your eyes
Time – paints cobwebs on the face you cannot hide

Time – day turning into night
Time – so short a time to leave a lasting mark

Time – measuring out our lives
Endless – while the years stretch out before us

Time – day turning into night
Time – so short a time before we say goodnight

Time – final call
Bells will toll
For our souls

Lyrics by Eszter Molnár