Pianist Béla Szakcsi Lakatos
has a lengthy history that includes playing classical music and jazz standards as well as being the first in Hungary to explore fusion. As a member of Special EFX
, he toured the world and appeared on many recordings. He has also worked extensively at exploring his Hungarian heritage and turning gypsy-flavored melodies into jazz. Although one can hear a bit of Bill Evans
and Keith Jarrett
in his playing, much of the time Lakatos
plays the piano like the folk instrument the cimbalom, a bit out of time yet swinging in its own fashion. Lakatos
' originals are full of rich melodies, and the lengthier pieces on Na Dara!
, particularly "8th District," are episodic, unpredictable, and intriguing. The occasional wordless vocals of Csaba Rostás and particularly his wife, Mónika Rostás, are haunting and authentic, giving this music an even stronger flavor of Eastern Hungarian music. Lakatos
wraps up this continually interesting set with a stately reading of John Lewis
' "Django." Recommended.