Gabor Szabo, either escaped the Soviet invasion of 1956, or the communists threw him out for crimes against music?
Somehow he found his way to California,found Bob Thiele who signed him to Impulse records, and released around half a dozen Szabo albums in a couple of years......someone must have bought them,but I dunno who? He did in fact beat the other besuited Sitar exponent on the block,Mr Bill Plummer, to the punch by a year or so.Being a political refugee does tend to focus the mind somewhat,spotting potential new ways to integrate and avoid being sent back.Although this album should have been reason enough to reject his application for US Citizenship alone.
Only in 1966 could an balding asylum seeker from behind the Iron Curtain be seen whizzing around LA on a Vespa with a sitar strapped to the back of his tweed blazer, with an adoring,heavily made up Modette in tow. On top of this, someone was cool,or fool, enough to have him banging out albums.
Just slapping any image portraying Indian Instrumentation was enough to shift enough units to finance another record in 1966-68, so fittingly there is a capitalist motive at work here.
The Sitar, is most definitely NOT an instrument one can just pick up and play at a whim.In the hands of Gabor it sounds like a badly tuned guitar with buzzing frets,and regularly snapping strings.
When he overdubs his semi-acoustic guitar part with the Sitar, it really does just sound like he's snapping the strings.
The cover versions are shameless Psychsploitation at its worst and naffest.Despite being abley backed up by the legendary Bernard Purdie on the skins,just Gabors heavily Hungarian accented vocals are enough to cause ones jaw to drop in disbelief.I suppose the Jazz labels had to do this shit to survive the Rock'n'Roll fad,and thank goodness they did.They really are quite hilarious indeed.
A1 Walking On Nails 2:46
A2 Mizrab 3:32
A3 Search For Nirvana 2:07
A4 Krishna 3:11
A5 Raga Doll 3:42
A6 Comin' Back 1:55
B1 Paint It Black 4:40
B2 Sophisticated Wheels 3:52
B3 Ravi 2:59
B4 Caravan 2:58
B5 Summertime 2:58