Hungarian guitarist Ferenc Snétberger leads a trio with Swedish bassist Anders Jormin and US drummer Joey Baron in this warm and involving recording, produced by Manfred Eicher in Oslo, and intensely melodic improvisation draws the listener gently into its sound-world. The gracefully flowing guitar (Snétberger has a way of making even complex phrases seem effortless), the enveloping rhythmic undertow, and the highly creative playing from all participants captivate throughout Titok. There is soloistic brilliance here and high-level interplay, and the music takes the time it needs to unfold, breathing very naturally. The compound sound of the trio, with Ferenc’s acoustic nylon-string guitar partnered by bass and drums, is special. Joey Baron shades and colours the music with great subtlety using brushes, sticks and hands, and the rapport between Snétberger and Jormin is evident from the outset, as both guitar and bass explore the contours of Ferenc’s compositions. “The dialogue here between classical guitar and Anders’s way of playing the bass seems to me unique,” observes Ferenc Snétberger. “Anders has a special ‘voicing’, a special way of entering into my music. And, together, he and Joey offer inspirations which are mirrored in my playing. Manfred’s participation was also inspiring – without his ideas, and his choice of pieces and the sequencing of them, the album could not have existed in this form.”
Tim Stenhouse, UK Vibe
All the music is written by Snétberger and all 13 tracks are fairly concise. Some, like the delightfully melodic ‘Kék Kerék’, sound like folk songs, others have a chamber-jazz feel with the leader’s instrument inevitably reminding of the classical guitar repertoire, and some even sound like standards. Snétberger has a precise touch, flowing improvisational mind, and imparts each piece with a generous heart, a grace fully embraced by his sensitive fellows.
Peter Bacon, London Jazz News
Featuring Swedish bassist Anders Jormin and American drummer Joey Baron, the recording has a subtle balance of melodic improvisation and interaction between guitar, bass and drums. The cumulative effect is sensational with Snétberger’s classical training and his love of Latin American music permeating throughout. […] This is a recording that will delight fans not only of jazz guitar, but those who like their jazz elegant, sensitive and melodic.
Ian Lomax, Jazz Journal
‘Titok’ represents absolutely ego free playing at its highest level. The trio is adept at functioning in different roles seamlessly, as an example Snétberger is equally at home leading a melodic line or improvising out front as he is circling and enhancing the rhythmic activity of Jormin and Baron. […] ‘Titok’ is another engaging look at Ferenc Snétberger’s singing acoustic guitar tone, and substantial improvisational ideas. As noted in the review of ‘In Concert’, Snétberger’s technique is indeed formidable but it never gets in the way of the music. He is on par with the Scofield, Metheny, McLaughlin, Frisell and DeLucia and is quite underrated. Very rarely are albums this good, and with a stellar trio and material, the album makes a strong case for being one of the year’s best.
CJ Shearn, Jazz Views
Mark Sullivan, All About Jazz
Hungarian guitarist Ferenc Snétberger is fairly new to the ECM Records roster, making a huge impact with his solo debut ‘In Concert’ a few years ago, but is now back in a big way with a trio that also features drummer Joey Baron and double bassist Anders Jormin. Their debut together is titled ‘Titok’, which is comprised of 13 tracks of inspired arrangements and plenty of sizzling musical interplay between the three players. From the outset, Barons steady rhythms allow Snétberger & Jormin to weave some incredible melodies around each other […] As daring as some of these compositions are, theres a certain subtlety that is also quite refreshing, as none of the players goes too far out into charts unknown but still manage to dazzle nonetheless. […] ‘Titok’ is a lovely little album with a nice mix of more exploratory pieces as well as shorter, charming compositions. Lets hope we hear more from this dazzling trio in the years to come.
Pete Pardo, Sea of Tranquility
Snétberger really is the complete guitarist, with classical baroque, Brazilian, Flamenco, jazz, tango and free styles all secure under his fingertips. His tone is immaculate, the recording sound sublime and the sense of relaxation and freedom along with such lightly-worn virtuosity makes this a thoroughly absorbing and pleasure-filled hour of music.
Peter Bacon, The Jazz Breakfast
Here’s a gorgeous album by guitarist Ference Snetberger, who’s caught in a concert at Budapest’s Franz Liszt Academy of Music. He plays classical guitar here, and uses it in a variety of luscious moods. None of the titles are given a title, simply numbered as a “part” of a great whole. Rich classic sounds in “1”, rich Spanish fragrances in “3”, a dancing samba in “4” and hints of flamenco in “5” all include patience in his picking, strumming and touch. Wonderful spaciousness on the dreamy “8” , with the entire concert making you want to create your own impressionistic titles. A joy to the ears.
George W. Harris, Jazz Weekly