Gabor Szabo ‎– Jazz Raga

Impulse! ‎– AS-9128
Vinyl, LP, Album, Stereo


A1 Walking On Nails 2:46
A2 Mizrab 3:32
A3 Search For Nirvana 2:07
A4 Krishna 3:11
A5 Raga Doll 3:42
A6 Comin' Back 1:55
B1 Paint It Black 4:40
B2 Sophisticated Wheels 3:52
B3 Ravi 2:59
B4 Caravan 2:58
B5 Summertime 2:58



Tracks A1, A4, B2, B4, B5 where recorded 8/4/66.
Tracks A2, A3, A6, B1, B3 where recorded 8/17/66.
Gatefold jacket.

Other Versions (5 of 15) View All

Cat# Artist Title (Format) Label Cat# Country Year
AS-9128 Gabor Szabo Jazz Raga(LP, Album) Impulse! AS-9128 US 1973 Sell This Version
A-9128 Gabor Szabo Jazz Raga(LP, Album) Impulse!, ABC Records A-9128 US 1974 Sell This Version
AS-9128 Gabor Szabo Jazz Raga(LP, Album) Impulse! AS-9128 US 1966 Sell This Version
LITA 053 Gabor Szabo Jazz Raga(CD, Album, RE, RM) Light In The Attic LITA 053 US 2010 Sell This Version
A-9128 Gabor Szabo Jazz Raga(LP, Album, Mono) Impulse! A-9128 US 1966 Sell This Version


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January 2, 2018
Bob Bushnell was, as far as I can tell, imprecisely credited with "Fender Guitar" on the original Impulse sleeve notes, which has been interpreted by submitters as a guitar credit - he is in actuality playing Fender Bass Guitar.


November 1, 2016
A most sublime entry in the Szabo portfolio, and the one that probably best introduced his craftsmanship to the record-buying public. Sure, he experimented with some of these ideas on "Gypsy '66" and "Spellbinder", but this, his third outing for the Impulse! label, really scores the highest marks. Much of his work through these years unfortunately pandered to the hipsters and the "jet set" — essentially amounting to "mood music" for trendy city folk. Those choices in production came with their own set of commercial rewards and setbacks, but it still seems to me that, as an artist, he almost always got to do what he liked. It just so happened that he actually did enjoy re-interpreting pop tunes.

Nonetheless, "Jazz Raga" cuts deep and does not have a droll or passé track on it. The Stones', Gershwin and Ellington covers sound remarkably fresh and original; snugly positioned next to an array of innovative sitar-laced compositions of his own. This concise set yields some of the finest fretwork the rock world had ever seen, as well as some of the most mind-expanding trippiness that could be found in jazz. The ideas and delivery are sophisticated while always remaining fun and unpretentious. Neither he, nor the band ever truly spread their wings on these 2-4 minute cuts — but they also never skitter out of control, either. Which, we must remember, can easily happen on a path no one's traversed before. This album is sensual, uplifting, and positively narcotic. It can also never be mistaken for anything else. So here's to Szabo, a true original.


December 13, 2015
edited over 2 years ago
Recorded in 1967, Gabor Szabo’s Jazz Raga still sounds as intoxicatingly fresh and wholly original as it did during those heady musically explorative times. People have always debated whether Jazz Raga is a jazz record or a rock record, though no one will disagree that it’s an important record ... as it very well may have been the first jazz rock hybrid, making it the first jazz fusion album, coming out several years before Bitches Brew by Miles Davis, or what Santana did on Abraxas, and anything closely resembling what Herbie Hancock would later become know for.

The album feels unscripted, as if he’s in your living room rattling off notes in a manner that an artist sketches, where before your very eyes/ears, there’s a fully fleshed out brilliant drawing, or in this case song, sitting in front of you; leaving you to scratch your head wondering how in the world he got from A to Z in an almost magical manner. The most wonderful aspect of Szabro’s music is that there are no edges crashing up against each other, simply an infusion of layer upon layer of musical chords that weave their way into a dream state of nearly uncontrolled joy.

I find myself wanting to distance myself from the word ‘psychedelic’, however, coming from the mid 60’s, and here on Jazz Raga, covering “Paint It Black” by The Rolling Stones, and on his live album The Beatles’ “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds,” the man has been deeply influenced by the changing times and the psychedelic counterculture. There are those who will say that they wish that he’d broken out a bit more, or pushed the boundaries, but that’s the charm of Jazz Raga, it’s held in check when it comes to the notion of soaring, yet he flies free when it comes to presentation. Szabo is keenly aware of his ideas, especially when one considers the meaning of Raja where the origins are taken from the Hebrew and Arabic, though predominantly used in Russian, Arabic, English, and Indian, with its roots meaning ‘hope’. With this meaning in mind, Szabo certainly did bring hope to one of the most important periods of the last hundred years, and he did so with a calculated gentle hand that to this day, is nothing less than mesmerizing.

Review by Jenell Kesler