Hungarian rock legend’s nod to Bartók

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One half of Leslie Mandoki’s new double CD is a nod to famous Hungarian composer Béla Bartók, but the music on it is 100 percent genuine rock, Hungarian musician Leslie Mandoki told Hungarian news portal Origo in an interview.

Mandoki said that after the concert in New York’s Beacon Theatre in January 2018, where the group of musicians he labels “soulmates” received a standing ovation, he was on the brink of retiring.

“There was such a standing ovation that I was seriously considering retirement because this is the summit,” Mandoki said.

Born László Mándoki in 1953 in Budapest, he fled communist Hungary in 1975 and began a career as music producer and independent performer, with his biggest hit being “Dschinghis Khan” preformed by the German group of the same name, which was established in Munich to perform the song at the 1979 Eurovision song contest as Germany’s entry.

He then went on to release 11 albums, contribute as a producer and musician – he is a percussionist – with reputable rock and jazz musicians and direct and produce ads for Audi, Daimler and Disney.

His latest release – published last October – hit the top spot on Amazon’s classic rock sales chart and has since been performed live in four big German cities and also led LP sales in Germany.

The double LP, Living in the Gap + Hungarian Pictures – harkening back to old rock and pop classics – consists of two 46-minute CDs with a vinyl texture and features musicians (or “soulmates”) such as Chris Thompson (Manfred Man’s Earth Band), Bobby Kimball (Toto), Ian Anderson (Jethro Tull), Peter Maffay, Al Di Meola and Mandoki’s daughter Julia, a singer in his band.

Title image: Leslie Mandoki (Origo/Sándor Csudai)  

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