Memory Palace

Szandra Szoke Quintet

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Memory Palace features the Szandra Szoke Quintet with an album of music written by vocalist Szandra Szoke and pianist Gabor Cseke in all but one selection. It is now available in Stereo DSD from NativeDSD Music.

Szandra Szoke says “How do you weave so much hope, doubt, struggle, lament, love into song? This album is the result of a lot of inner wars, roaming, and soul-searching. It may even perhaps manifest itself as a journey into my soul. This is highly personal material, hence its uneasiness.

Each song is a mirror-image, if you take a glance at it, you get to like it, and if you face it for long, it grabs hold of you and won’t let go. At once it’s heart-warming and gloomy. It keeps you company, and echoes in you. But what if I like it this way?”

Szandra Szoke Quintet
Szandra Szoke – Vocals
Gabor Cseke – Piano
Istvan Fekete – Trumpet
Peter Olah – Double Bass
Csaba Pusztai – Drums

Tracklist

Please note that the below previews are loaded as 44.1 kHz / 16 bit.
1.
Monochrome
06:47
2.
Wanderlust
06:11
3.
Wool
05:39
4.
In Between the Lines
07:24
5.
Whitewater
05:47
6.
Gyemant
05:01
7.
Memory Palace
04:59
8.
Zold
07:01
9.
Now Sleeps
03:12

Total time: 00:52:01

Additional information

Label

SKU

HRES1410

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Artists

Composers

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Mastering Engineer

Dexter

Instruments

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Original Recording Format

Recording Engineer

Gabor Noniusz

Recording Location

SuperSize Recording Studios in Hungary

Release DateJuly 7, 2023

Press reviews

All About Jazz

Vocalist Szandra Szoke and pianist Gabor Cseke co-wrote the music to all but one of the songs on Memory Palace. With the singer contributing the lyrics to six of the nine tracks. Szoke has a talent for writing lyrics (in English) that are filled with imaginative imagery and enough ambiguity to maintain an air of mystery in many of her stories.

The original songs are filled with striking lyrical imagery and atmospheric music. Three of these originals are especially impressive. “This tune is the sum of what I’ve become,” sings Szoke on “Memory Palace“.

Cseke’s fluid, pretty, piano lines contrasting with the dark-edged and enigmatic lyric. “Wool” takes musical inspiration from Folk Traditions as well as Contemporary Jazz. Pustai’s percussion is central to the song’s somewhat mystical air. Lyrically it resembles the changeling ballads of Scotland, imagination replacing sorcery, as Szoke asks a lover (or a would-be lover, or an ex…) how they think of her – like wood, like smoke, like wool, “like the sky,… galaxies born in my eyes“?

The sultry “In Between The Lines” shifts between its waltz time opening and sections in 7/4 and 4/4. Echoing changes in the narrative and in the intensity of Szoke’s vocals. It’s a superb coming together of music and lyrics, of voice and instrumentalists.

Memory Palace ends on another high note. On “Now Sleeps” – lyrics from Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s sonnet “Now Sleeps The Crimson Petal” – Szoke’s voice is at its purest, accompanied only by Cseke’s gentle piano phrases.”

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Hunnia Records 189 albums

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