Kőszegi on the Road


Drummer Imre Kőszegi’s career has picked up steam over the past year. The top Hungarian jazz drummer has had a chance to present his international quartet on several tours of Western Europe.

Kőszegi’s group, with Hungarian pianist László Gárdonyi, American bassist Jack Gregg and Polish altoist Zbigniew Namyslowiski, followed up a successful appearance at the 1980 Debrecen Jazz Festival with tours through Switzerland, West Germany, Austria, Holland and France. The group recorded an album for JG Records at a jazz club in Iserlohn, West Germany, appeared at the Saalfelden’s Three Days of Jazz in Austria, and played many club dates. Last October, Kőszegi also played with a Hungarian all-stars group at the Prague Jazz  Days.

This year the 36-year-old drummer has been just as active. In April he made a successful tour of Greece in a trio with pianist György Vukán and bassisit Balázs Berkes, and this Hungarian super trio cut a record for the Greek CBS label. Over the next two months, the drummer’s international quartet (with Suleiman Hakim replacing Namyslowski) toured West Germany again, appearing at the Balver Hohle festival.

The busy year came full circle for Kőszegi when he appeared at the l0th Debrecen Jazz Festival, working in different formations with the likes of Kenny Wheeler, Juhani Aaltonen and Suleiman Hakim. New tours of Western Europe and Scandinavia have already been fixed for November and March, and there are plans to release a percussion recording featuring Kőszegi, Andrew Cyrille and Okay Temiz.

(Jazz Forum, 1981/5)