Ferenc Nemeth – Triumph

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.

In addition, in 2011, Ferenc has launched an app at the Mac AppStore called “Drum School,” that is an educational tool, including over 300 drum grooves and hand exercises. This app is a rhythm library, an instructional DVD and a method book, all in one. (www.drumschoolapp.com)