Gary Lucas & Toni Dezso's "Gary and Toni Go Nuts" Review | Downtown Music Gallery

By Eric Mace

     Featuring Gary Lucas on guitars & effects and Toni Dezso on alto & baritone saxes plus guest Attila Dora on tenor sax & bass clarinet. This disc was recorded in a studio in Budapest, Hungary. A few weeks ago (in January of 2017), I reviewed a fine trio CD with Gary Lucas and two musicians from Hungary, a vocalist named Eniko Szabo and a saxist, Toni Dezso. Longtime Downtown guitar great, Gary Lucas, keeps busy by developing musical collaborations from around the world, especially from eastern Europe. I didn’t know about either saxist here, Toni Dezso or Attila Dora, but they sound like all three are kindred spirits. Commencing with an acoustic guitar bathed in layers of effects, Mr. Lucas sails in with that space-rock like sound, a ghost-like sax sailing in the distance. Both saxists appear together on 4 of 13 tracks here and sound fine together. On “The Nervous Smokers”, Mr. Lucas adds a bit of ragtime like flourishes with both saxes playing connected patterns around him. Both reedmen work well together, trading lines on bass clarinet and bari sax on “Trout Fishing in Trump Amerika” which Mr. Lucas adds several waves of echoplexed guitars. I like that much of this is laid-back yet still hypnotic with the tone.sound of the guitars altered somewhat on each track. The music here is often like a soundtrack to a series of imagined scenes from a movie. Neither saxes do any screaming or go very far out, they work head to add shades to the many sounds that Mr. Lucas comes up with on his ever-changing guitars. The cover art is a cartoon of a man and skeleton duking it out on a battle field. The title, ‘Gary and Toni Go Nuts!’ seems misleading since rather than going wild, these tow work well together and complement each other in different ways. They do go wild here and there but seem to favor some more restrained sections as well. A healthy balance of extremes makes this a successful disc.

- Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery