Recording Boom


1988 has marked a significant change in the record production system of Hungary. It has been the year when the monopoly of the state-owned Hungaroton Record Company broke up, giving room to different labels and private initiative.

The first step was taken by Hungarian Radio which started its own label, Radioton, pro­ducing a series of recordings, including American blues singer Jerry Ricks’ debut album.

Another LP has been released by several cultural organizations, including Hungarian Radio, and features the bands of the dixieland festival held in Salgótarján in 1988.

One label is run by an independent company Hungaropop, which has released Brass Age’s “Tones”. This sextet, formerly known as No-Spa, was formed in Budapest in 1985. That same year it won the first prize  at the competition organized by Hungarian Radio. Its delicate arrange­ments, by leader and keyboard player Mihály Farkas, contrast the traditional rhythm section with the brass section of the fluegelhorn, trombone and the saxes.

Of course, Hungaroton is also continuing its jazz series. The recent releases include a recording by Aladár Pege’s international Jazz Workshop. The renowned double-bass player, besides his regular working group, is found in the company of Austrians: Harald Neuwirt and Erich Bachträgl, and Yugoslavian Tone Jansa. Richard Kruza’s first solo record, entitled “Qui”, features the leader on synthesizer.

(Jazz Forum, 1988/5)