Spellbinder

Gabor Szabo

Spellbinder

Recorded in 1966, Spellbinder was Gabor Szabo's second solo album (released on the heels of Gypsy '66), and remains one of his most popular titles. Flexing a more pronounced Latin vibe than his debut, the lineup here finds him reuniting with Chico Hamilton, while also adding Willie Bobo on percussion and Ron Carter on bass. Musically, he sets a template for many records to come, mixing jazz standards like "Witchcraft" and modern pop hits such as "Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)" with some exceptional original compositions, all delivered with his endearingly jangly, multi-culti guitar style. One of his finest recordings (out of approximately 20 solo releases), it is alternately contemplative and funky, low-key and excitable, drowsy and upbeat. Easy on the ears from start to finish, it also includes "Gypsy Queen," which would be made famous by unabashed Szabo fan Carlos Santana four years later.

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