Kalman Olah | Always

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Memphis International Records

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United States - Tennessee

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Jazz: Piano Jazz Folk: Jazzy folk Moods: Featuring Piano
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by Kalman Olah

A native of Hungary, pianist Kálmán Oláh has gained international renown as an artist who masterfully combines elements of jazz, folk and contemporary classical music.
Genre: Jazz: Piano Jazz
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Always
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5:54 album only
2. Polymodal Blues
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7:04 album only
3. Hungarian Sketch No. 1
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8:35 album only
4. All of You
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10:07 album only
5. How My Heart Sings
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8:17 album only
6. Introduction
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2:56 album only
7. Stella by Starlight
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10:08 album only
8. Elegy
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9:32 album only


Album Notes
In its first foray into straight ahead jazz, Memphis International Records announces the June 26th release of Always from The Kálmán Oláh Trio featuring Jack DeJohnette and Ron McClure. A native of Hungary, pianist Kálmán Oláh has gained international renown as an artist who masterfully combines elements of jazz, folk and contemporary classical music. The title song of the forthcoming album earned Oláh the 2006 Grand Prize in the BMI-sponsored Thelonious Monk International Jazz Composer’s Competition.

The new album, his first U.S. release finds Oláh backed by drummer Jack DeJohnette and bassist Ron McClure who rose to lasting prominence with Charles Lloyd and later with Lloyd bandmate Ketih Jarrett. DeJohnette, who met Oláh in Budapest several years ago, is effusive in his praise, stating in the liner notes to Always, “When Kálmán swings, he does it authentically, it’s soulful and sophisticated, as well.”

While Kálmán Oláh is a new name to American audiences, he’s a seasoned player having appeared in Europe with score of well-known artists including Lee Konitz, Randy Brecker, Pat Metheny, Steve Grossman, John Patitucci, Tommy Campbell, Stefano Di Battista, Jay Leonhart, Daniel Humair, Andrej Ceccarelli, Paolo Fresu, Kenny Wheeler and many others.

According to the Studio City Sun, “(Always is)…one of the best instrumental releases in a long time. Olah is a mindblower, mixing several musical elements into a fearsome whole, someone that takes originals and standards to the highest level of improvisation.” The Memphis Commercial Appeal calls the title track “…more Bill Evans than Monk, the composition is a standout, distinguished by its throbbing rhythm and melancholy melody. The rest of the record shows it is no fluke, with material ranging from the solid bop workout Polymodal Blues to the impressionistic closer Elegy.”

Born in Budapest of Romany (Gypsy) parentage, Oláh graduated from the Béla Bartok Conservatory, completing his musical studies at Franz Liszt Music University, where he is a current member of the jazz faculty. During his student years, his unique, ecumenical approach gained him widespread recognition, winning numerous awards at competitions both in Hungary and abroad including the Great American Jazz Piano Competition in Jacksonville, Florida.

Kálmán has become a regular at festivals in Italy, France, Spain, Belgium and elsewhere. His versatility as a performer is demonstrated by his passion to expand the musical boundaries and his ever-lasting quest for new forms of self-expression. The brilliance of both his playing and compositional skills as heard on Always confirms that a bright new start, from a most unlikely place, has alighted in our midst.


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Ron McClure

OK, I'm the bass player on this "side", which is what we used to call "Records"..! Kalman and Jack are two of the best musicians alive and I'm honored to have been called for this date. We are playing together again on May 2, 2008 in Budapest. Kalman wrote 50 minute a piece for orchestra and jazz quartet. I'm pleased that Jack & I will be playing with Kalman again. My only criticism of "Always" is that the cut my solo out of the title track and didn't release more of Kalman's brilliant original pieces that we recorded.The recording quality of this Cd is excellent.

juerg sommer

Exciting !
A fantastic group of stellar artists ! Don't hesitate if you did't know Kalman Olah before.Absolutely in the first rank of pianists.