Spellbinder by Gabor Szabo


Label: Impulse

The Hungarian gypsy guitarist doesn't get enough credit for being a proto-fusion artist — come to think of it, he really doesn't get any. But one listen to Spellbinder, which presaged jazz-rock crossover by about three years, will show Szabo as something of a visionary. First, there's his tone, which had plenty of bite and ran counter to the Wes Montgomery-influenced orthodoxy of the day. His lines are similarly his own. The best songs here are open-ended Latin- and raga-influenced jams like "Cheetah," "Yearning" "Spellbinder" and, especially, "Gypsy Queen" (yes, Santana tagged it onto the end of "Black Magic Woman") — but even standards like "My Foolish Heart" get winning makeovers.

About The Author

Eric Snider

Eric Snider is the dean of Bay area music critics. He started in the early 1980s as one of the founding members of Music magazine, a free bi-monthly. He was the pop music critic for the then-St. Petersburg Times from ‘87-’93. Snider was the music critic, arts editor and senior editor of Weekly Planet/Creative...
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