Cold Cherry Soup

COMPOSERS: Lakatos,Rowles,Somogyi
LABELS: Forged Records
PERFORMER: Arnie Somogyi (b), Tony Lakatos (ts, ss), Zsolt Bende (g), Liam Noble (p), Winston Clifford (d)
CATALOGUE NO: FRGCD 101 (distr. www.forgedrecords.com)

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Arnie Somogyi is also a virtuoso British bassist, but from the younger generation. He’s of Hungarian extraction and has recently been checking out his roots. Cold cherry soup is a Hungarian dish, hence the title.

He, Noble and Clifford are among the finest of the younger generation of London musicians, and Somogyi has recruited two excellent Hungarian musicians with international reputations, Lakatos and Bende, for his quintet and recording debut as a leader.

Of the nine pieces, Somogyi contributes five, Lakatos three, and the ninth piece is a glorious version of the late Jimmy Rowles’s famous ballad ‘The Peacocks’. Lakatos and Somogyi are fine composers, and the former’s tribute to the great American drummer Al Foster, ‘Alvin’, is the delightful opening piece. It has a relaxed, loping bass figure, and a lovely melody, and Noble plays an unhurried lyrical piano solo.

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Lakatos on tenor solos briefly but very eloquently. Somogyi’s ‘The Thumb’ is a blues and has the whole band playing the melody, then powerful solos all round. He also arranged two Hungarian folksongs, including the haunting ‘Going Home’, which elicits passionately elegiac solos. This is a beautiful album.