Hungarian clarinet master Lajos Dudas whose career stretches back some fifty-plus years, returns with his 12th discs as a leader. Guitarist Philipp van Endert has been collaborating with Mr. Dudas for some twenty years (1993-2013). Bassist Leonard Jones is an original member of the AACM, playing with Muhal Richard Abrams in the sixties (in Chicago), as well as with Muhal in the seventies in NY. Mr. Jones has been living in Munich, Germany since 1980 and has played with a variety of noted musicians like the Sun Ra Arkestra, Hank Crawford, Sonny Simmons and Mal Waldron. Mr. Dudas wrote half of the songs here with a handful of covers by Monk, Cole Porter, Gershwin and two by fellow Hungarian Attila Zoller. Although this trio does play a few standards, the instrumentation of clarinet, guitar & bass makes this more of a chamber jazz trio. The trio has a full, well-rounded sound with the acoustic bass at the center holding down the
rhythm team support. You can tell that Mr. Dudas and Mr. van Endert have been playing together for a long while since they work so well as one connected spirit. "Soft Waves" is a hushed, elegant piece with superb, crafty and sublime solos from the clarinet and guitar. There is an original song by Dudas called, "Reni's Ballad", but it is not a laid-back piece, as both the clarinet and guitar take impressive forceful solos. The late Attila Zoller lived in the US for many years and passed away in 1998. He was a brilliant jazz guitarist as well as a gifted composer. Here the trio play his "Homage to O.P." (Oscar Pettiford?), which is done playfully with a superb (Wes Montgomery-like) solo from Mr. van Endert on guitar. Mr. Dudas sounds especially inspired playing Monk's classic "In Walked Bud", caressing each note with taste and respect. Each and every solo on the disc (including a couple of fine bass solos) as well as the interplay between all three members of this trio is done extremely well. Could be a perfect (jazz) release? Yes, indeed it really is.
(Downtown Music Gallery/New York)