|Birth name||Gábor István Szabó|
|Born||March 8, 1936|
|Died||February 26, 1982 (aged 45)|
|Genres||Jazz, pop, rock|
|Labels||Impulse!, Skye, Blue Thumb, CTI|
Szabó was born in Budapest, Hungary. He began playing guitar at the age of 14. In the aftermath of the Hungarian revolution of 1956, he moved to California and later attended the Berklee College of Music in Boston between 1958 and 1960.
In 1961, Szabó became member of a quintet that was led by Chico Hamilton and included Charles Lloyd, playing what has been described as chamber jazz, with "a moderate avant-gardism." Szabó was influenced by the rock music of the 1960s, particularly the use of feedback. In 1965 he was in a jazz pop group led by Gary McFarland, then worked again with Lloyd in an energetic quartet with Ron Carter and Tony Williams. The song "Gypsy Queen" from Szabó's debut solo album Spellbinder became a hit for rock guitarist Carlos Santana. During the late 1960s, Szabó worked in a group with guitarist Jimmy Stewart. He started the label Skye Records with McFarland and Cal Tjader.
Szabó continued to be drawn to more popular, commercial music in the 1970s. He performed often in California, combining elements of Gypsy and Indian music with jazz. He returned often to his home country of Hungary to perform, and it was there that he died just short of his 46th birthday.
While visiting family in Budapest during the Christmas holiday, Szabó was admitted to the hospital and finally succumbed to the liver and kidney ailments he suffered from and died on February 26, 1982. He was buried in Farkasréti Cemetery.
- Gypsy '66 (Impulse!, 1965 [rel. 1966])
- Spellbinder (Impulse!, 1966)
- Simpático (Impulse!, 1966) - with Gary McFarland
- Jazz Raga (Impulse!, 1966 [rel. 1967])
- The Sorcerer (Impulse!, 1967)
- More Sorcery (Impulse!, 1967 [rel. 1968])
- Light My Fire (Impulse!, 1967) - with Bob Thiele
- Wind, Sky and Diamonds (Impulse!, 1967)
- Bacchanal (Skye, 1968)
- Dreams (Skye, 1968)
- 1969 (Skye, 1969)
- Lena & Gabor (Skye, 1969 [rel. 1970]) - with Lena Horne
- Magical Connection (Blue Thumb, 1970)
- High Contrast (Blue Thumb, 1971) - with Bobby Womack
- Small World (Four Leaf Clover [Sweden], 1972)
- Mizrab (CTI, 1972 [rel. 1973])
- Rambler (CTI, 1973 [rel. 1974])
- Gabor Szabo Live (Blue Thumb, 1974) - with Charles Lloyd; recorded 1972
- Macho (Salvation/CTI, 1975)
- Nightflight (Mercury, 1976)
- Faces (Mercury, 1977)
- Belsta River (Four Leaf Clover [Sweden], 1978)
- Femme Fatale (Pepita, 1981)
- The Szabo Equation: Jazz/Mysticism/Exotica (DCC Jazz, 1990)
- In Budapest (Moiras, 2008) - broadcast TV recordings from 1974
With Steve Allen
- Songs for Gentle People (Dunhill, 1967)
With Paul Desmond
- Skylark (CTI, 1973 [rel. 1974])
With Charles Earland
- The Great Pyramid (Mercury, 1976)
With Coke Escovedo
- Comin' at Ya! (Mercury, 1976)
With Chico Hamilton
- Drumfusion (Columbia, 1962)
- Transfusion (Studio West, 1962 [rel. 1990])
- Passin' Thru (Impulse!, 1962 [rel. 1963])
- A Different Journey (Reprise, 1963)
- Man from Two Worlds (Impulse!, 1963 [rel. 1964])
- Chic Chic Chico (Impulse!, 1965)
- El Chico (Impulse!, 1965)
- The Further Adventures of El Chico (Impulse!, 1966)
With Charles Lloyd
- Of Course, Of Course (Columbia, 1965)
- Nirvana (Columbia, 1965 [rel. 1968])
- Waves (A&M, 1972)
- Manhattan Stories [live] (Resonance, 2014) - 2CD set; recorded 1965
With Gary McFarland
- "GABOR SZABO: BIOGRAPHY". dougpayne.com. Retrieved 2018-06-29.
- Payne, Douglas. "Gabor Szabo". AllMusic. Retrieved 9 June 2018.
- Berendt, Joachim (1976). The Jazz Book. Paladin. p. 294.
- Nadal, James. "Gabor Szabo @ All About Jazz". All About Jazz.
- Payne, Douglas. "Gary McFarland". AllMusic. Retrieved 9 June 2018.
- "Donal Dineen's Sunken Treasure: Gabor Szabo's Dreams". The Irish Times. Retrieved 2018-06-29.
- Rosen, Jody (June 25, 2019). "Here Are Hundreds More Artists Whose Tapes Were Destroyed in the UMG Fire". The New York Times. Retrieved June 28, 2019.
- "Gabor Szabo". AllMusic. Retrieved 9 June 2018.