It is never a good idea to judge a book by its cover and even less so a music album. However, in the case of Lazlo Gardony's solo release Clarity the cover image depicting the pianist sitting at the piano as a young boy, accompanied by his stuffed bear, pretty much says it all.
Full of bright, affirming innocence, the album's ten compositions display their emotional colors like the face of a child, unfolding with simple openness. There are various shades to encounterfrom bittersweet to playful joybut the whole flows with the sprightly rhythms and tender eagerness of the young exploring the world.
The ten compositions presented on Clarity are all originals, developed of a piece and recorded in a single improvisational sitting. Subsequently, Gardony divided the recording into ten segments, providing titles such as "Settling of a Racing Mind," "Tempering," and "Resilient Joy." Gardony has been a longtime professor at Berklee College of Music and has performed in many settings, while instructing others in the art of improvisation. Here, Gardony seems to set all that aside to explore a candid moment of personal reflection put forth in straightforward terms.
In the end, devoid of anything brash or calculating, the music on Clarity forms a pleasant, winsome oasis.
Track Listing: Settling of a Racing Mind; Surface Reflections; Looking Deeper; Working Through (Clarity); Finding Strength; Better Place; Opened Window (Hopeful Horizon); Tempering; Resilient Joy; Resolution (Perfect Place)
I love jazz because next to my kids, it's the love of my life.
I was first exposed to jazz by Joe Rico from a tiny station in Niagara Falls in 1954 when I was 13.
The best show I ever attended was Maynard Ferguson who blew the roof off Massey Hall in the late 50s.
My advice to new listeners is to listen to everything you can and then listen again.