He was acknowledged as a virtuoso in his native Hungary going back to the release of his first solo album at age-17. Gergo Borlai’s unique, charismatic flare garnered attention from old world and new. Long story short, Ralph Angelillo sensed greatness when he booked Gergo for the 2012 Montreal Drum Fest (forerunner of the current festival). Audiences were ecstatic in the presence of Gergo’s integration of complex rhythmic patterns into freight train grooves. His nimble style and staccato sound cut through like a knife. Let’s put it this way: Had Gergo gone to medical school, he’d have become a surgeon. Gigging with the likes of Gary Willis, this was essential. Nowadays perhaps even more so.
Gergo Borlai has moved to the LA Valley. If anybody can be heard clearly above the traffic clatter it’s him. He’s capable of unleashing his own clouds of Biblical locusts on a double-pedal, often interrupting with short exclamations so utterly articulate you’d swear he’s triggering his kicks. To witness him is to appreciate a young man who has put in the practice time, and who harnesses a wealth of unique, exciting chops—but who thinks twice before doing anything that might mess with the essential groove.