Kristóf Bacsó Quartet Alteregos

BMCCD148 2008

The challenge for me in this line-up was how the three voices (two winds and the bass), combined with the groove of the drum, could create an organic whole in which a full sound is born without a harmonic instrument, with only melodies: as if the other part were an alter ego.

Kristóf Bacsó


Kristóf Bacsó - alto and soprano saxophones
Kornél Fekete-Kovács - trumpet and flugelhorn
Mátyás Szandai - double bass
Ferenc Németh - drums

Árpád Oláh Tzumo - Fender rhodes (5, 8)
Balázs Kántor - violoncello (4, 8)

About the album

All compositions by Kristóf Bacsó
Recording producer: Kristóf Bacsó
Recorded by László Válik at L.V. Hang Stúdió, Budapest, on 13-14 June, 2008
Mixed and mastered by László Válik
Portrait photo: István Huszti; Group photo: Katalin Karsay
Cover Art-Smart by GABMER / Bachman

Produced by László Gőz
Executive producer: Tamás Bognár

The recording was sponsored by the Szerencsejáték Zrt., the National Cultural Fund of Hungary and the Artisjus Music Foundation


Don Mather - MusicWeb (en)

Bob Hatteau - Citizen Jazz (fr)

Franpi - Sun Ship (fr)

Concerto **** (de)

AAJ Italy staff (Angelo Leonardi) - All About Jazz ***1/2 (it)

Mischa Andriessen - Jazzenzo (nl)

Patrick Španko - (sk)

Turi Gábor - Gramofon ***** (hu)

Végső Zoltán - Revizor (hu)

Sinkovics Ferenc - Magyar Hírlap (hu)

Márton Attila - Demokrata (hu)

Czékus Mihály - EduCafe (hu)

3500 HUF 11 EUR

Kristóf Bacsó Quartet: Alteregos

01 Egos 6:01
02 Pictures From Home 6:07
03 Crazy Age Children 7:15
04 West Balkan Tale 11:26
05 Budapest Anzix 4:35
06 Game with 6ths 5:18
07 Time Snake 5:12
08 Chest Pressure 7:36
09 Alteregos Coda 1:48
Total time 55:18

notes musicales en français - cliquez ici

The challenge for me in this line-up was how the three voices (two winds and the bass), combined with the groove of the drum, could create an organic whole in which a full sound is born without a harmonic instrument, with only melodies: as if the other part were an alter ego.

Kristóf Bacsó

Kristóf Bacsó was born in 1976 in Budapest, and started studying the saxophone under Dezső Lakatos Ablakos and Mihály Borbély in 1989. He graduated from the jazz department at the Ferenc Liszt Academy of Music, then continued his studies first at the Conservatoire de Paris and later at the Berklee College of Music in Boston; his teachers included François Jeanneau, Joe Lovano, George Garzone, Hal Crook and Bill Pierce. He won first prize at the talent contest organised by Hungarian Radio for young saxophonists in 1999.

For five-and-a-half years he lived and worked in France, then the United States, while he also performed in many European countries including the London Jazz Festival, the Pescara and Barcelona Jazz Festivals, and in several famous jazz clubs (Sunset, Sunside, Porgy and Bess, Pizza Express, New Morning, etc.). He has played in line-ups of a wide variety of styles from mainstream jazz, through ethno music, to contemporary music, with renowned musicians such as Eddy Henderson, John Patitucci, Nico Morelli, Giovanni Mirabassi, Tony Lakatos and Gerard Presencer.

He has been working with Gábor Gadó since the end of the 1990s; he participated on the record Modern Dances, and was a soloist on the releases Agent Spirituel and Different Garden by Gábor Winand, which were composed by Gábor Gadó. He has regularly played with Kálmán Oláh since 2004, and in 2006 they released a trio album entitled Fitting, with Sébastien Boisseau on bass. As a soloist he performed the piece of Oláh Concerto for Symphony Orchestra and Jazz Band. He frequently works with the Kálmán Oláh Sextet, the Miklós Lukács Quintet, the East European Artsemble, and the Modern Art Orchestra, in which he featured as a soloist, arranger and composer.

Since 2008 he has been a teacher in the arts department of the Kodolányi College, and since 2004 has been the artistic director of the jazz department of the Egressy Music Secondary School. In 2007 he received the Artisjus Music Foundation Prize.

Kornél Fekete-Kovács was born in 1970 in Kiskunhalas, Hungary. He studied at the Jazz Department of the Ferenc Liszt Music Academy. He is in great demand as a musician, and has worked on more than a hundred discs as a soloist or a session musician. As an arranger he is very much present in the contemporary, jazz and pop music scene in Hungary.

Of the many bands he played in earlier, Brass Age, the Kálmán Oláh Sextet, the Blacksmith Workshop should be mentioned in any case, whereas he continues to play in the László Dés Septet. He is the founder of the Budapest Jazz Orchestra, where from 1998 to 2005 he was artistic director and soloist. Since 2005 he has been the leader of the Modern Art Orchestra, and in 2006 he formed the Kornél Fekete-Kovács Quintet.

During his career he has played in renowned international bands such as the IASJ Big Band (Copenhagen), the EBU Big Band (Amsterdam-Budapest), Brande International Music Workshop Orchestra (Denmark), the UMO Jazz Orchestra (Finland), the Central European Jazz Connection and the Finnish-Hungarian Jazz Workshop.

As a composer, in addition to many short compositions he wrote the Budapest Jazz Suite, which BMC Records released on CD performed by the Budapest Jazz Orchestra. The UMO Jazz Orchestra also premiered it in Helsinki, conducted by the composer. His second full length piece written for big band was The Wayfarer, which was premiered in 2002 by the EBU Jazz Orchestra. The work was recorded by the Budapest Jazz Orchestra with David Liebman as featured soloist. (Human circle - The Wayfarer, BMC CD 088). His next major work was the Timpani Concerto, written jointly with Béla Zsoldos, followed by the suite Dedications of 2005, and Christmas Diary, which provided the material for the debut record by the Modern Art Orchestra in 2006. His most recent concert-length piece The Oak and the Bee was premiered by Wallace Roney and the Modern Art Orchestra in 2006 at the MOL Budapest Jazz Festival.

He has played at a great many festivals in Hungary and abroad with Dave Liebman, Johnny Griffin, Bob Mintzer, Peter Erskine, Gary Willis, Wallace Roney, Julian Joseph, Herbie Mann, Marilyn Mazur, Kyle Gregory, Ray Anderson, Butch Lacy, Mario Gonzi, etc.

Since 1995 he has been teaching at the jazz department of the Ferenc Liszt Academy of Music. He was awarded the Artisjus Music Foundation Prize twice (2000 and 2004), as well as the eMeRTon Prize - Composer of the Year (2002).

Mátyás Szandai was born in 1977 in Balassagyarmat, Hungary. He was a student of classical music with Gergely Járdányi at the double bass department of the Ferenc Liszt Academy of Music, and graduated in 2004. Since the age of 16 he has been playing in various jazz bands, and over the last fifteen or so years has worked with almost all the famous names on the Hungarian jazz scene. He has become one of the most sought-after bass players in the genre.

He was a member of the Csaba Czirják Quartet, the Csaba Tűzkő Septet, and the Elemér Balázs Group, with whom he has made two albums for BMC: Around the world (2002), and Our worlds beyond (featuring Charlie Mariano, 2003). In 1996 he became a member of the Mihály Dresch Quartet, with whom he has recorded four albums for BMC: Quiet as it is (2001), Hungarian bebop (with Archie Shepp, 2002), Straight music (2004), and Árgyélus (2007). He can also be heard as a member of the Kristóf Bacsó Quartet, the Viktor Tóth Trio, the Dániel Szabó Trio, the Kálmán Oláh Sextet and the András Dés Trio.

Besides playing with the leading jazz musicians in Hungary, he has had the opportunity to work with famous musicians such as Archie Shepp, David Murray, Herbie Mann, Chico Freeman, Rosario Giuliani, Charlie Mariano, Hamid Drake, William Parker, Rob Brown, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Gerard Presencer, Chris Potter, Flavio Boltro, Zbigniew Namislowski, etc.

With various line-ups he has toured America, India and has performed in almost every country in Europe, including the London Jazz Festival, the JazzBrugge Festival, and several French festivals and clubs (Jazzébre, Amiens Jazz Festival, Cité de la Musique, New Morning etc.). He made a guest appearance with the Dániel Szabó Trio at the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia in 2008, invited by Danilo Perez.

He is at home in almost every branch of jazz, and as well as the Dresch Quartet has often played in groups drawing heavily on folkmusic traditions (Kálmán Balogh, Peter Rachev), but has also worked on productions with a contemporary sound, such as Gábor Gadó’s album Byzantinum (2008). In the annual poll by Gramofon, the most important jazz magazine in Hungary, records made with his participation have twice won the award for jazz album of the year: Mihály Dresch Quartet: Straight Music (2004), Viktor Tóth: Climbing with Mountains (with Hamid Drake, 2007). His playing can also be heard on the album Frictions recorded by the Dániel Szabó Trio, featuring Kurt Rosenwinkel (Warner Jazz, 2007).

Ferenc Németh was born in 1976 in Keszthely, Hungary. After completing high school, he moved to Budapest where he attended the Jazz Department of the Ferenc Liszt Academy of Music. Soon he became one of the most promising jazz drummers in Hungary. In 1999 he was awarded a scholarship to Berklee College of Music and moved to Boston where he lived for three years. He also attended to the New England Conservatory and studied one year as a graduate student. In 2001 he got accepted (as the only drummer and the first Hungarian student ever) to the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz program, where he studied for two years. Among others he’s been studying with John Ramsay, Gary Chaffee, Bob Moses and Peter Erskine. While in Los Angeles, he started to work with the Billy Childs Trio, Bob Sheppard, Dave Carpenter, John Clayton, Jimmy Heath, the Henry Mancini Orchestra... just to name a few.

In 2003, he moved to New York, where he almost immediately began playing gigs, working his way into the New York Jazz scene. Soon, he gained the recognition needed to be called to perform and tour with some of the greatest names in the jazz world. He has performed and/or recorded with a variety of artists such as: Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Christian McBride, Terence Blanchard, John Abercrombie, Dave Samuels, Dave Grusin, Chris Cheek, Aaron Goldberg, Kenny Wheeler, Eli Degibri, Jonathan Kreisberg, John Ellis, Omer Avital, etc. In 2003 he was a co-founder of the trio GilFeMa - which is a collaborative trio featuring Lionel Loueke on guitar and vocal, Massimo Biolcati on bass and Ferenc Németh on drums, percussion. Their debut CD was released in 2004 by ObliqSound.

Németh began to focus more on composing and soon released a duo album along with Javier Vercher for FreshSound. In 2005, he established his own label, Dreamers Collective Records, and recorded his debut album Night Songs, featuring John Patitucci, Chris Cheek, Mark Turner, Lionel Loueke, Aaron Parks. He has been in the Lionel Loueke Trio for the past nine years. Recently Loueke released Karibu, the stunning Blue Note label debut with rare guest appearances by Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter.

He has been awarded three times at the IAJE for Outstanding Service to Jazz Education in 2002, 2006 and 2008, he got the Berklee-Elvin Jones Award in 2000, the Gramofon Hungarian Jazz Award in 2007 and his debut album was among the finalists at the Independent Music Award in 2008.

Special thanks to Kornél, Matyi, Feri, Tzumo, Balázs and László for their creativity and for believing in my music!
Thanks to Kálmán Oláh, Gábor Gadó, Dániel Szabó, Mihály Borbély, András Mohay, Csaba Czirják, István Baló, Ferenc Schreck, Elemér Balázs, László Fassang, Árpád Barabás, Róbert Maloschik and Miklós Szilágyi for giving me inspiration in the last couple of years.
Special thanks to Éva Orsós, Károly Csider, Katalin Karsay, Bendegúz Varga and to BMC for helping me creating this album.
Very special thanks to my family for all their support; and to Leila for everything.

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