Record Collector (magazine) - p.974 stars out of 5
-- "[The albums] are infused with late 60s pop and rock psych..."
Personnel: Gabor Szabo (guitar); Jimmy Stewart (guitar); Marty Morell, Bill Goodwin (drums); Hal Gordon (percussion).
Liner Note Authors: Frank Kofsky; Nat Hentoff.
Recording information: Jazz Workshop, Boston (04/14/1967/04/15/1967); Monterey Jazz Festival, Monterey, CA (04/14/1967/04/15/1967); Jazz Workshop, Boston (09/17/1967); Monterey Jazz Festival, Monterey, CA (09/17/1967).
Photographers: Lee Tanner; Bob Thiele.
Hungarian born guitarist and composer Gabor Szabo recorded eight records for Impulse between 1966 and 1968. Some of those albums, such as Jazz Raga and Spellbinder are masterpieces, while others, like Simpatico (with Gary McFarland) and Light My Fire (with Bob Thiele) are embarrassing exercises in self-indulgence. The pair of recordings issued on this Impulse two-fer were always meant to be together, though they were released separately; they are closer to the former category than the latter. The Sorcerer and More Sorcery contain live performances of two of Szabo's greatest quintets in concert settings: Jimmy Stewart on guitar, Lajos "Louis" Kabok on bass, either Marty Morell or Bill Goodwin on drums, and Hal Gordon on percussion. The Sorcerer was recorded between April 14-15 at the Jazz Workshop in Boston. It contains three of Szabo's best-known originals in the elliptical "Space" featuring stellar guitar interplay between Szabo and Stewart, the modal, Eastern-tinged "Mizrab," and the bluesy "Comin' Back," written with Clyde Otis. Among the other fine moments are a fingerpopping' funky read of Sonny Bono's "The Beat Goes On" and a fine straight up jazz take on Cole Porter's "What Is This Thing Called Love," with stinging work from Stewart and popping bongos from Gordon. More Sorcery contains three more cuts from the same Jazz Workshop performance including the Spanish-flavored original, "Los Matadoros," and an excellent reading of "Corcovado." The latter three tracks were cut live at the Monterey Jazz Fest and feature an innovative, blissed-out jazz cover of" Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds," and a knotty version of Szabo's "Spellbinder" with intense engagement between Stewart and the leader. All told, this two-fer revises history -- a bit -- and accounts for one of the best live recordings in his career. ~Thom Jurek