Make a difference: Support jazz online

Support All About Jazz Your friends at All About Jazz are looking for readers to help back our website upgrade project. Of critical importance, this project will result in a vastly improved design across all devices and will make future All About Jazz projects much easier to implement. Click here to learn more about this project including donation rewards.

4

Laszlo Gardony: Clarity

Mark Corroto By

Sign in to view read count
It might be a bit bold to call pianist Laszlo Gardony's Clarity work a triumph of the human spirit, but indeed the ten spontaneous compositions presented are a testament to his purposeful character and allegiance to introspection.

The Berklee College of Music professor was born in Budapest and grew up under the influence of European classical music, American rock, and the African-based music of jazz and blues. His main outlet for recordings these days is his trio with John Lockwood and Yoron Israel. Their previous release was Signature Time (Sunnyside, 2011)with Stan Strickland.

Like his prior solo recording, Changing Standards (Sunnyside, 1993) he improvises music here on the spot. Where his improvisations on the Standards record originated in the familiar sounds of John Coltrane, Thelonious Monk, and Duke Ellington, here he improvises the whole nine yards.

The press notes indicate that he often records his spontaneous sessions. On this October 2012 morning, after the passing of his parents, he sat down to reflect, morn their loss, and ultimately celebrate their lives (and his own).

Part meditative psalm and part rhythmic, percussive dance, the pianist takes the listeners through his opening rumination. "Settling Of A Racing Mind" begins in church with its formality and decorum. He then turns inward with "Surface Reflections" and "Looking Deeper," summoning richness and profundity in this guided meditation. Even though there is silence between tracks, each piece influences the next one. His sorrow gives way to bolder moods and a spirited propulsion.

The longest piece, "Better Place," (11:31) builds momentum and buoyancy. Gardony has the ability to move your spirit through his propulsive playing. Here he thunders forward with a bluesy touch and a dancing essence. After a couple of quieter passages, he delivers a tribute to Americana with "Resilient Joy," where he filters W.C. Handy through Aaron Copland. He ends with his "Resolution," one that is more hopeful than defeatist.

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).

Personnel: Laszlo Gardony: piano.

Title: Clarity | Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: Sunnyside Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Lucas CD/LP/Track Review Lucas
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: January 22, 2018
Read In Paris: The Definitive ORTF Recording CD/LP/Track Review In Paris: The Definitive ORTF Recording
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: January 22, 2018
Read D'Agala CD/LP/Track Review D'Agala
by Mark Corroto
Published: January 22, 2018
Read Not Bound CD/LP/Track Review Not Bound
by Don Phipps
Published: January 22, 2018
Read Not Nearly Enough To Buy A House CD/LP/Track Review Not Nearly Enough To Buy A House
by Mark Sullivan
Published: January 21, 2018
Read Journey to a New World CD/LP/Track Review Journey to a New World
by Troy Dostert
Published: January 21, 2018
Read "The Princess" CD/LP/Track Review The Princess
by Mark Corroto
Published: November 18, 2017
Read "Hauptbahnhof" CD/LP/Track Review Hauptbahnhof
by Anthony Shaw
Published: April 4, 2017
Read "One" CD/LP/Track Review One
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: March 31, 2017
Read "The Way of It" CD/LP/Track Review The Way of It
by Jack Bowers
Published: November 19, 2017
Read "Seaside" CD/LP/Track Review Seaside
by John Eyles
Published: January 30, 2017
Read "Serenade for Horace" CD/LP/Track Review Serenade for Horace
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: October 11, 2017