Mike Madriaga 3 p.m., June 22
Kornel Fekete-Kovacs Quintet live
Long, loose interpretations of classic material with lots of improvisation.
Hungarian trumpeter/flugelhornist Kornel Fekete-Kovacs blew into Dizzy's on Sept. 26, fronting a red-hot band comprised of LA pianist Mike Garson, flutist Lori Bell, bassist Bob Magnusson and drummer Duncan Moore for a night of loose improvisation on mostly standard material.
Bell and Garson led off Wayne Shorter's "Footprints," with rhapsodic interplay, joined eventually by Kovacs' trumpet, which proved a delightfully rich combination with the flute. He darted through the changes while leaving room for pregnant-pauses, and she followed up with gorgeous tones, subtle vibrato and fluttered trills, over the leviathan bass of Magnusson. Garson emerged, alone building banks of reverberant harmonies and bringing the band back in when his lines began coalescing rhythmically. Magnusson paraphrased the melody and lit out on a strike of indigo velocity.
Garson opened "Stella By Starlight," with classical flourishes and after a very oblique rendering of the melody, he steered the tune into unexpected places with repeated clusters which erupted under the heat of Moore's percussive fusillades. Bell and Garson traced rococo orbits around each other before yielding to Moore's uncanny mix of architecture and explosion.
Flute and flugelhorn wove a rich tapestry on Garson's arrangement of "Oh What A Beautiful Morning," which avoided the schmaltz factor by injecting heavy doses of odd meters including one section in 5/4 that found Garson and Moore recreating the vamp/drum solo from Brubek's "Take Five."
Kovacs adapted Mozart's "Concerto in A Major," into a melodic showcase for dramatic contributions from Garson, and especially Bell, who managed to blend the pure with the voluptuous, while Kovacs forged searing emotional connections over the groaning whole notes of Magnusson.
Photo by Barbara Wise
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