Grover Washington Jr. Tribute Band / Blog

Concert review from the Colombus Jazz Club by László Bokros, 90.9 Jazzy Radio

"Even though we get taken right back in time when hearing this band play, there is a certain cloud of confusion as to why the spirit of the father of smooth-jazz re-emerged right here in Budapest, but when one hears the first few notes of their live set, this cloud clears up straight away. The big secret behind it all is that this music is widely accepted both by the general public as well as by people with more "sensitive" ears, such as musicians. Another aspect is that a lot of the songs have been re-orchestrated with a fresh and modern feel, giving them a new pulse of life, thus bringing those people closer to this genre of music, who would straight away turn their backs and walk out the door when they hear the word Jazz. Once one gets hooked on this music, he or she is here to stay. Songs such as Take me there, Let it flow or, a drummer's delight, Strawberry Moon, all have melodies that a person on a night-out in Budapest will remember. Looking out the windows of the Colombus Jazz boat, the Danube gently roars by, a beautiful panorama looks down on us from the opposite riverbank, but all of this becomes secondary as the Grover Washington Jr. Tribute Band begins their set. Towards the second half of their show, we are treated to a Soulful Strut, a Funkfoot and a Next Exit and to put the cherry on the top, the tune Mr Magic showcases a brilliant drum solo by Áron Nyírő. A show like this proves that Jazz can be delicate, airy and be enjoyed by all. As the occasions comes to an end, the boat sails gracefully through time, yet does not even move an inch. Mr Magic!" - László Bokros, 90.9 Jazzy Radio

Concert review of the Memorial Concert 2009 by László Bokros, 90.9 Jazzy Radio

"If you want to pay tribute to the late Grover Washington Jr. appropriately, you need a lot of great songs, a great band and not to mention complex and exciting live performances. On the 2nd of December 2009, several generations of saxophone players met on the stage of the Gödör klub in Budapest and performed for each other in front a great audience. From the background, the Old Man himself happily observed the joyful and lively event. Even though saxophone player Zoltán Albert stood on the front line of the stage, he was also the mastermind behind the whole production, from the initial idea, all the way to the last soulful note. Just the artist line-up in itself would make one's heart start beating and feet start tapping: András Jász, Tamás Stencli, Bálint Bársony, Gábor Kollmann and Vera Tóth, who replaced Fatima as she became ill and could not take part. As Bálint Bársony took the stage in the middle of the set, he took us back in time with a cool and smooth version of Soulful Strut. Clarinet genius Artie Shaw once said to Grover Washington, "If you listen to the playing style of any jazz musician, you will immediately understand the type of character that person has." This quote came to mind as the adrenalin levels radiated from the performance of Tamás Stencli and Zoltán Albert and sent shivers down the spine of the audience as they played a hauntingly good duo version of Summer Chill. It became clear again that this wonderful and soulful style of music is warmly greeted and accepted by listeners from all walks of life. The entire place really started dancing as Vera Tóth and Bálint Bársony performed the song Just the two of us. Nowadays, as this genre of music doesn't really benefit from the shelter and comfort that are provided by the pop music industry, the realisation of such a thematic and successful jazz production, one that boldly takes the risk to speak out to a wider audience, really tests a person's organisational skills. Grover Washington Jr. would most definitely be proud of this superb line-up of talented saxophone players who were finally able to pay tribute to his music on a big stage, in the form of a big show. Maybe even Artie Shaw would have been satisfied, since these are great people, playing great music to a great crowd. Most importantly! Anyone who missed the concert in December, can make up for it and hear the repertoire again on the 16th of January 2010 in the Jazzy Pub. Thank you Grover Washington Jr.!" - László Bokros, 90.9 Jazzy Radio