Laszlo Gardony | Signature Time

Sunnyside (2011)
By JON GARELICK  |  October 25, 2011
3.0 3.0 Stars

GARDONY-M

Boston pianist Gardony isn't known for musical reticence, but even so, this — his ninth release — is one of his more exuberant outings. Working with longtime trio-mates John Lockwood (bass) and Yoron Israel (drums), he shows off his propulsive, chordal style at its best, and the results are never predictable. He reconceives the Beatles' "Lady Madonna" with a new melody and up-tempo gospel fervor. When he takes on chestnuts like George Shearing's "Lullaby of Birdland" and Billy Strayhorn's "Johnny Come Lately," he alters the rhythm of the melodic line, providing each with a new syncopated hiccup. He plays with form as well: his original "Bourbon Street Boogie" takes the standard 12-bar blues second-line workout and stretches it to 20, and the lovely "On African Land" vamps over 13. Elsewhere, he'll work subtle tonal and dynamic shifts into one of his simple, infectious tunes, as on his rollicking opener, "With You at the Bridge." In each case, the familiar falls on the ear as something fresh. The presence of guest saxophonist (and vocalist) Stan Strickland is another plus. Perhaps the most affecting piece here is also the simplest, "Silent Words" — with the patient, slow rhythmic tolling of a brooding chord figure. It's slightly dissonant, unstable, and against it Gardony plays spare, lyrical melodic lines and whimsical filigree, but always comes back to that ominous vamp. Here, Gardony crosses from the pleasurable to the profound.

LASZLO GARDONY TRIO + STAN STRICKLAND | Scullers Jazz Club, DoubleTree Guest Suites Hotel, 400 Soldiers Field Road, Boston | November 2 | 8 pm | $18; $10 students | 617.562.4111

  Topics: CD Reviews , Music, Laszlo Gardony, Laszlo Gardony,  More more >
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