Ferenc Nemeth | Triumph

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by Ferenc Nemeth

A jazz record that was written in the style of a classical symphony with global or world music overtones at all most every twist and turn of this most evocative sonic adventure. Ferenc Nemeth has created a journey for the ages. An epic work!
Genre: Jazz: Mainstream Jazz
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  Song Share Time Download
1. Intro
1:19 album only
2. Triumph
6:32 album only
3. Interlude I
2:41 album only
4. Purpose
5:53 album only
5. Interlude II
3:21 album only
6. Joy
6:59 album only
7. Interlude III
2:58 album only
8. Longing
5:54 album only
9. Hope
2:25 album only
10. Interlude IV
3:10 album only
11. Sorrow and Wishful Thinking
9:37 album only
12. Hope II
2:41 album only


Album Notes
"Ferenc Nemeth is a nimble Hungarian drummer with a feel for African rhythm, as he has proved through a marquee association with the guitarist Lionel Loueke. On “Triumph” (Dreamers Collective), an album due out next month, Mr. Nemeth advances his case as a bandleader and composer." Nate Chinen - New York Times

"Triumph has many meanings from the small things in our life to the most meaningful achievements. As we live our lives, we constantly affirm our aspirations as well as we overcoming obstacles. Triumph is a celebration of all that and more. The title of the CD represents Ferenc’s hopes for a future where individuals can reach their highest potentials and the collective mass of humanity work together as a unified hope.

Ferenc explains; “Triumph also represents my personal experiences, the many things that I’ve been through in my life. Coming from a small village (1000 people), moving out of my parents’ house at age 14, trying to practice and learn everything while everyone around me is trying to convince that by playing music I will not make a living, moving to a big city, learning to adjust to different communities, being bullied, fighting for my rights as an artist on my own and in a different country, getting recognized and being accepted as a foreigner, losing friends and family, going through hardships. All this and of course many beautiful things like meeting new people, new friends, mentors, traveling, see the world opening in front of you, loving and being loved, experiencing the many wonders that life gives us and celebrating life itself.”

Thematically the songs on Triumph are based around the many feelings and experiences that we as humans go through: Triumph, Purpose, Joy, Longing, Hope, Sorrow and Wishful Thinking. These songs were written over a long period of time and were not just put together for this project. So their true reflection has a timeless feeling. Ferenc only wrote a song when he had a specific point of inspiration. It is a true expression of a moment, captured in its truest form. Ferenc is not able to just write for a commission. Instead, his compositional ideas and themes always come from an emotional center of his being and each song was written with the feeling that the title represents. Ferenc expands; “I am conscious and concerned about how we are progressing as human beings. Are we evolving? Are we getting better? These are some of the questions that I am trying to find answers for and hoping that with my music I can contribute to that fabric for a better future. “

The album was written more like a Symphony. The ending of one song is connective to the beginning of another; with well-placed interludes they blend into each other, forming a collective message as a whole. “Triumph” the title track, is a textural journey of rhythmic complexities, call and answer conversations that exemplifies the ensemble’s ability to play off of each other. “Purpose” gives a feeling of direction as the track uplifts the listener, propelled by Nemeth’s buoyant pulses, toggling between bop, free-bop and mainstream whereas “Joy” is a jubilant emotive piece that guitarist Lionel Loueke embellishes by vocally doubling his single note lines. The quartet tears down walls, shifts strategies, and morphs anthem-like movements with soaring lines, and upbeat incursions. On “Longing” Werner and Nemeth interact with sympathetic passages, then are joined by Redman and Loueke that all together create a broad temporal plane. On the solo section, Werner displays clusters of introspective moments, while again Loueke and Redman, backed by Nemeth’s superb ability to listen and complement each moment, drives this heart wrenching composition to its fullest potential.

Continuing on the journey with “Hope,” based on a two motif theme, Werner begins by stating the first motif, melodic and simple in nature, which is followed by Loueke stating the second motif, which creates a rhythmically active counterpoint. What is most interesting about this piece is how Nemeth creates full lower end sound with his bass drum and lower pitched floor toms. Because this ensemble does not contain a bass player, the listener is able to hear the fine lower end work of drummer Nemeth. “Sorrow” and “Wishful Thinking” is a somber, introspective piece treated with African rhythms and microtonal interludes, with either mystical qualities or executed via disparate tonal swashes. Guest vocalist Barbara Togander and Lionel Loueke add an instrumental vocal impression to the piece that tethers the two in a uniting sound. Redman and Werner create propelling undercurrent, working almost as one united mind. Throughout the recording we hear the work of arranger/conductor Nicolas Sorin, and his excellent woodwind orchestrated and conducted contributions, but this particular piece is especially poignant. Overall, this embodiment of compositions is a full-fledged global musical perspective, a conglomerate of beguiling propositions, meant to evoke the human spirit." Kari-On Productions

"So what's in a name?
Are you serious?
We have Joshua Redman, Kenny Werner, and Lionel Loeke rounding out one of the most formidable 4tets and with the leader drummer Ferenc Nemeth and you have a real deal shot at album of the year.

For drummer Ferenc Nemeth, Triumph is a personal statement that represents hope for a future where individuals can maximize their potential and humanity can work together as a unified hope for the future. While we may see versions of this concept over and over between now and the election, Nemeth eloquently continues to add that Triumph is a representation of personal life experiences and their dramatic impact on his life be they good times or bad. Triumph is about willingness to endure the good times and bad while in search of those celebratory moments that make life worth living. A personal yet accessible meaning and understanding of the simple joy of being and in this case it would be with music acting as the centerpiece. Nemeth sets an immaculate table!

From a purely conceptual perspective the release was constructed in the relative same form and functionality as that of the more traditional classical symphony and over an extended period of time. Nemeth had to feel the emotional tug of inspiration to create these works and the deep feelings and connectivity to the human spirit they represent. The title track "Triumph" is a tune built around layered texture and rhythmic dynamics that reinforce the traditional call and response and the ability to play off and continue each members lyrical direction. "Purpose" is an aptly named tune that plays runs off the buoyant energy of drummer Nemeth and is a tremendous example of the ability to create an emotion centered around the dynamic tension as the ensemble works on that harmonic high wire moving carefully in and around bop, free-bop and the more conventional form of what would be considered the mainstream norm. "Joy" is a sonic exploratory allowing Lionel Loueke to vocally double his single note lines adding what I like to refer to as that three dimensional sonic depth of field. Deceptively subtle nuances are interwoven with the complex rhythmic patterns set forth by Nemeth and Loueke's guitar work provides the perfect counterpoint. " Sorrow And Wishful Thinking" borders some where between the somber and the melancholy. As an introspective piece "Sorrow And Wishful Thinking" is a wash in a sea of African rhythms and micro-tonal interludes which again recreate a dynamic tension or organic pulse that is perhaps to be reminiscent of what is occurring in our everyday lives.

Triumph is indeed an artistic triumph and perhaps a critics worst nightmare as it deftly defies genre. A jazz record that was written in the style of a classical symphony with global or world music overtones at all most every twist and turn of this most evocative sonic adventure. This is not a recording in the traditional sense of the word but an experience to be savored. Redman and Werner work together as though they have been connected at the hip for twenty years. Loueke and guest vocalist Barbara Togander add texture and depth while drummer Nemeth owns the pocket as he creates one of the finest examples of lyrical drumming one may hear.

Much like life, it is not the destination but instead the journey and Ferenc Nemeth has created a journey for the ages. An epic work!" Brent Black - CriticalJazz

"The sophistication and self-assurance of his composing and arranging have the earmarks of a seasoned veteran. Nemeth has assembled a group of musicians with whom he has worked before and who have worked at various times with each other." TERRELL KENT HOLMES - All About Jazz

"Ferenc Nemeth represents the new breed of post-Art Blakey jazz drummers, ushering in their own bravado and confident leadership." Mark F. Turner - All About Jazz

"Nemeth's playing is the music's vitality; never overpowering, and marked by finesse (taps, shuffles, flurries) and omni-directional patterns, off of the beat, yet always in time." Mark F. Turner - All About Jazz


FERENC NEMETH is an accomplished and versatile musician who continues to push the boundaries of jazz drumming and composition. Nemeth has since the early days of his career, been one of the most sought after drummers both, in his native Hungary as well as in the United States. Coming from a musical family, his unique dynamism and versatility was fostered from a very early age. An exciting performer and imaginative collaborator, Nemeth is well regarded for his work with the Lionel Loueke Trio and GilFeMa and has also travelled, performed and collaborated extensively as a bandleader, co-leader, sideman and educator as well as initiating creative projects of his own.

From his early days at the Berklee College of Music in Boston and the Thelonius Monk Insitute of Jazz in Los Angeles, Nemeth has learned from and worked with the world’s finest jazz musicians and groups including Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Terence Blanchard, the Billy Childs Trio, Bob Sheppard, Dave Carpenter, John Clayton, Jimmy Heath, The Henry Mancini Orchestra amongst others. Relocating to New York in 2003, Nemeth’s distinctive energy and drive saw his career continuing with many of the same musicians, and also expanding to include the likes of Christian McBride, John Patitucci, Lionel Loueke, John Abercrombie, Dave Samuels, Mark Turner, Hal Crook, David Benoit, Bud Shank, Greg Hopkins, Phil Wilson, Dave Grusin, Eddie Daniels, Eddie Henderson, Ron McClure, Chris Cheek, Aaron Goldberg, Kenny Wheeler, Eli Degibri, Jonathan Kreisberg, John Ellis, Omer Avital and most recently Ilaiyaraaja.

Many of his collaborations have become long-standing partnerships spanning over a decade. 2003 was also the start of Nemeth’s involvement with GilFeMa, a trio also featuring Lionel Loueke and Massimo Biolcati. The trio, who had been playing together since the Berklee days continued their creative efforts in this format with all three contributing compositions to the 2004 album, eponymously titled, GilFeMa (ObliqSound). Notwithstanding, college fraternity and friendship, Nemeth’s natural great range coupled with his dynamism, complexity and improvisation makes him a perfect partner in the Loueke-Biolcati-Nemeth cooperative. His contribution here as well as with other collaborations is evidence of his great versatility, which informs a unique musical personality. His expertise and vast knowledge beyond traditional jazz, has also seen him move effortlessly through contemporary jazz as well as pop, rock, electro-pop, hip hop and increasingly into ethnic and culturally diverse disciplines.

Beyond the extensive repertoire of performance and recording, Nemeth has also established his own label, Dreamer’s Collective Records and in 2007, released his debut album of original compositions, Night Songs to much accolade and features such luminaries as John Patitucci, Chris Cheek, Mark Turner, Lionel Loueke and Aaron Parks. Displaying sophistication and self-assurance, the recording has established Nemeth as a composer and arranger in his own right. A second project for the label, due for release in the spring of 2012, sees Joshua Redman, Kenny Werner, Lionel Loueke as contributors, as well as a small wind orchestra. A side project for the last couple of years, the Ferenc Nemeth Onion Project, sees Nemeth venturing into the world of rock with Hungarian musicians.

An ever-present thirst for exploration and experimentation has seen Nemeth travel widely and play with musicians from a variety of backgrounds and countries. This occupation in turn, has also resulted in Nemeth’s regular participation in workshops and teaching programs in the United States and internationally, the most recent being stints at the University of Siena and the Swarnabhoomi Academy of Music in India.



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