Today’s album comes from Greek drummer Billy Prim and is called “Thalassa” which is the Greek word for sea. Billy lives and works in Budapest and he recorded this album with some great musicians from Hungary. The line-up is:
- Attila Blaho – Piano
- Andor Horváth – Double Bass
- Júlia Csillag – Voice
- Áron Turcsányi – Electric Bass
- Billy Prim – Drums
Billy explained to me the creation-process of this album: “The whole album is a first take, we did not record any song a second time. At that given moment in my life I had the chance to realize and see the collateral beauty of effortlessness. Each song is not perfectly rehearsed, I wanted to give to every song a real feeling of pure energy and pleasure in our playing.”
The album starts with “Enlightenment” a very impressionistic song with the piano playing steady arpeggios and the drums producing the sound of waves and little stones at the beach.
“Waves of Emotion” is the next song and it stays initially in this impressionistic and melancholic mood, Andor Horváth on double bass enjoys a lot of freedom in his playing. The band increases the intensity and the dynamics at around 5 minutes and reduces volume for a very special bass solo.
Billy produced a nice video for this song:
“Keep the Child Alive in You” picks up much faster after the piano introduction before it switches to a very slow ballad. Áron Turcsányi on electric bass caters for the distinct sound in this song. This song is my personal highlight on the album, it shows perfectly the dynamic range which this band is able to master and you can feel the energy and the pleasure in the playing, which Billy explained.
“Én Felkelék” features singer Júlia Csillag. The melody she sings is a traditional Christian folk-song accompanied by drums and electronic keyboard, a complete different sound and mood but also very atmospheric, not in contrast but in addition to the other songs on the album.
The album closes with “Midnight Sea” returning to the classical piano trio line-up with Andor Horváth on double bass. He is also featured in his song. Piano and some soft drumming prepare the layer on which Andor Horváth improvises rather freely.
Billy Prim with the great support from an outstanding Attila Blaho on piano created a beautiful album that shows all the elements of contemporary European jazz music where a line is drawn from traditional and classical music into improvisational music. Especially Hungary seems to be the place where all those elements are easily accessible and where jazz musicians take advantage of them.
The reaction on the live performances are according to Billy Prim all very positive, even excited. So when being asked if the album shows the same level of spontaneity as the concert it is easy for him to answer with a simple “Yes” because the circumstances of the recording and the live situation during a concert are not really different. Congratulations on this album.
For more information about Billy Prim check out his website:
And here is the complete album on Spotify: