Szilárd Mezei Quintet - As You

Ken Waxman, JazzWord

As You, from 2007, features only two long pieces played by a compact quartet, plus two others which add tubaist Kornél Pápista. Mezei obviously attracts players committed to his sounds.
With the five players broken up into duos and soloists, “Rain, Rain, Rain” and “Thistles”, featuring Pápista are the rousing focal points of As You. Fast-moving lines which weave panting and pumping tuba blasts plus staccato bass and cello splashes, the former opens up still further when Mezei, backed by flams, ruffs and opposite sticking from Csik, sprays jiggling cross tones like a Magyar Billy Bang. Switching to blunt rim shots, the drummer seconds a gruff, growling Pápista solo, while the lower-pitched strings fragment the time into abstractions. Finally speedy fiddle stops backed by cymbal clink-clanks recap the head before taking the tune out.
“Thistles” offers the tubaist an a capella showcase where he manipulates his lines with the agility of an overweight gymnast on a parallel bar. Comments on the theme arrive from portamento from the strings without losing chromatic motion. Eventually a fire engine-like bell and stop-time tuba blasts introduce Mezei’s fleet piercing solo on end-blown kaval flute. Finally the theme variant is ripped apart as each instrument goes its own way only to reassemble for the climax.