Gabor Szabo

Gabor SzaboDespite being one of Carlos Santana’s favourite guitarists, Gabor Szabo is far from being a player everyone has heard of.  Born in Hungary in 1936, Szabo emigrated to the states aged twenty, and began to hone a style which incorporated something of the spirit of his homeland.  In 1971 he made an album called High Contrast with Bobby Womack.  On paper it sounds like an unlikely pairing, a folksy Hungarian jazz guitarist and a well known soul singer.  In fact much of the album comes off very nicely.  There are no vocals (Womack was also an excellent R&B guitarist), just seven groove based tunes for Szabo to stretch out on.  Perhaps the most appealing track on the record is If You Don’t Want My Love, a tune which is best known as the vocal version Womack recorded.  Szabo floats above a band which knows how to create a groove, and how to develop it.  I’ve included a transcription of the first part of his solo.  Szabo mostly sticks to E dorian, but there are occasional hints at the diminished scale and a Hungarian sounding C sharp – Bb – A resolution.  The fast scale passage near the end is impossible to notate precisely.

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The first couple of choruses of Szabo's solo on If You Don't Want My Love

The first couple of choruses of Szabo’s solo on If You Don’t Want My Love

One thought on “Gabor Szabo

  1. Pingback: Transcriptions | Alexander Corlett

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