Gábor Gadó | János Ávéd Whispering Quiet Secrets Into Hairy Ears

BMCCD300 2022

Guitarist Gábor Gadó, who resides in France and after having achieved significant success there with his etalon French quartet and recording with such prominent musicians as Dave Liebman, Frank London and Laurent Blondiau, made an album with one of the most sensitive saxophonists in the Hungarian jazz scene, János Ávéd. Their joint album entitled Whispering Quiet Secrets Into Hairy Ears contains many musical references from Mozart to Bach to Liszt, while ranging in tone from Gregorian to modern music. The duo is joined on three compositions by two young classical music excellences, violist Éva Osztrosits and cellist Tamás Zétényi, elevating the powerful pieces of the two musicians to even more ethereal heights.


Gábor Gadó – guitar
János Ávéd – saxophone

Éva Osztrosits – viola (5, 7, 11)
Tamás Zétényi – cello (5, 7, 11)

About the album

Compositions by Gábor Gadó (1, 3, 4, 7, 8, 10), János Ávéd (6, 9), Barnabás Dukay (2) and Ferenc Liszt (5, 11)
Recorded by Viktor Szabó at BMC Studio, Budapest on 31 August - 2 September, 2020
Mixed and mastered by Viktor Szabó

Artwork: László Huszár / Greenroom

Produced by László Gőz
Label manager: Tamás Bognár

Supported by the National Cultural Fund of Hungary


George W. Harris - Jazz Weekly (en)

Michael G. Nastos - (en)

Mathias Bäumel - JazzZeitung.de (de)

Thierry Giard - zarbalib.fr (fr)

E. Lacaze / A. Dutilh - radiofrance.fr (fr)

Franpi Barriaux - Citizen Jazz (fr) élu

Vincent Cotro - Jazz Magazine (fr) CHOC

Matti Komulainen - HIFImaailma (fi)

Peter Dobšinský - skjazz.sk (sk)

Peter Dobšinský - skjazz.sk (sk) - #4 of Top 10 jazz albums of 2022

Olasz Sándor - riff.hu (hu)

Dr. Nagy Sándor - jazzma.hu (hu)

Komlós József Jr. - alfoldiregiomagazin.hu (hu)

Iván Csaba - magyarjazz.hu (hu)

Szabó Károly - hangzasvilag.hu (hu)

Libisch Károly - magyarjazz.hu (hu)

3500 HUF 11 EUR

Whispering Quiet Secrets Into Hairy Ears

01 Lacrimosa 5:57
02 Barnabás 3:47
03 Lucidum intervallum 4:08
04 Tiger Riding 4:25
05 Vexilla Regis (from Via Crucis) 4:23
06 Midsummer Night Dream 4:59
07 Narrations 4:39
08 Solum ipsum 6:05
09 Ex parte enim cognoscimus 3:35
10 Fletus sacer 5:31
11 Pater noster (from Harmonies poétiques et religieuses) 7:52
Total time 55:26

The album is available in digital form at our retail partners

The title of Gábor Gadó’s latest album is replete with mystery: ‘Whispering Quiet Secrets Into Hairy Ears’. It speaks of the wisdom of age, the facility our ear acquires of filtering out the essence of what has to be heard, of the inner hearing of this sedimentation of the essence deposited in the human soul as the years pass by. And it is no coincidence that the album opens with Lacrimosa, which Gábor Gadó says is not a direct borrowing from the famous Dies Irae, although he is not surprised if some echoes of Mozart’s Requiem can be heard; he considers it one of the most important works, to the point that he already used this expression of grief in the album ‘Buenaventura’ by Mâäk, led by Laurent Blondiau.

From the spirit of ancient liturgical modal music (the Gregorian style of Solum Ipsum) to modernist angularity (the dislocation of lines in Lucidum Intervallum), the guitarist-composer continues to pursue a legacy that audiences have heard accumulating on the BMC label since the end of the 1990s. With his Hungarian, then French, jazzman friends, Gábor Gadó has been able to submit his literary imagination and his musical education (between modality and vertical harmony) to the projection of improvisation onto tempo and a harmonic grid, or to the controlled freedom advocated by the Miles Davis quintet in the 1960s (‘Orthodoxia’, ‘The Unknown Kingdom’). We have seen him, with a Hrabalesque smile, revisiting his beginnings as a professional musician in communist times (the parenthesis of ‘Modern Dances for the Advanced in Age’), diving into metaphysical certainty (‘Byzantinium’), exploring ‘contemporary’ abstraction in the field of chamber music (‘Lung-Gom-Pa’)...

He distilled this vein in a duo with Barnabás Dukay until it was a sort of improvised essence without either a grid or a score, before climbing back, still with Dukay, from the ‘groundless void’ (the Ungrund of Jakob Boehme), to the master discipline whose influence reaches as far as the world of jazz, the Baroque tradition of ‘choral and bass continuo’ which culminated with Bach. Or to pre-Baroque music, as far as the cantus primus of ancient Gregorian monody, whose influence we heard in his duo with the Belgian trumpeter Laurent Blondiau (‘Veil and Quintessence’).

Having journeyed thus far in his oeuvre, and his life (getting on for 65) Gábor Gadó embarked on a vital collaboration with János Ávéd, his junior by 26 years. During a spectacular career (notably at the Liszt Music Academy where Gadó preceded him, at the Béla Bartók Conservatory where he teaches today, but also alongside the greatest American jazz musicians), saxophonist Ávéd met the guitarist in 2008 on a tour by the European Saxophone Ensemble under the direction of Guillaume Orti. The influence of this came ten years later in the reunion of the János Ávéd Trio with the Orti duo and the singer Christine Bertocchi in the multi-media project Twinning. With Gábor Gadó, he immediately glided into the atmosphere of the timbre supplied by the guitar, and into the composer’s melodic lines and harmonic colours, writing Midsummer Night Dream himself, which evokes the Shakespearian world and Elizabethan music, and Ex parte enim cognoscimus, in a Renaissance spirit contemporary to the previous track, but borrowing a liturgical dimension from L’Épitre aux Corinthiens (Letter to the Corinthians).

We can find Barnabás Dukay’s pawprint in Barnabás, which has as its starting-point the tracings of the beginning of an improvisation made in concert, with the guitarist’s instructions to the pianist to play in a Baroque manner. The Pater Noster which closes the album is borrowed from Ferenc Liszt, as is Vexilla Regis, which takes as its source a hymn of the sixth-century bishop Venance Fortunat. Tiger Riding debuts in this hymnic spirit that Gábor Gadó revisits with fervour, before his special harmonic expressivity leads the saxophone into the haunting isolation of the cycle of reincarnation, a ride on the tiger that has to be dominated in Hindu mysticism. And in these Narrations, now recorded in an orchestral version in ‘Lung-Gom-Pa’ we find once more this capacity we knew Gábor Gadó had since his first CDs, to get the most disjointed melodies to ring out full-voiced, along with the most abstract harmonies, because these are perhaps what he designates as the ‘quiet secrets whispered into hairy ears’.

Franck Bergerot
Translated by Richard Robinson

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