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Laszlo Gardony: Close Connection


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Laszlo Gardony: Close Connection
The close connection between pianist Laszlo Gardony, bassist John Lockwood and drummer Yoron Israel is clear and present in the music they produce together. With more than two decades of shared experiences on the bandstand and a fair number of very fine albums to boot, this crew thinks, breathes and moves as one. For this, their latest go-round following Life in Real Time (Sunnyside, 2015), and Gardony's post-pandemic return to studio recording, they split focus between originals from the leader's pen and collective improvisations that speak to a high order of unspoken understanding fostered by big ears and egoless interaction.

The aptly-titled "Irrepressible" serves as a welcome reintroduction to this outfit's unique brand of sound. A hard-grooving gem which leans on Gardony's familiarity and fondness for Bela Bartok and the sounds of Central Europe, it leaves no doubt as to the band's collective chemistry. The weighted "Strong Minds" follows, bringing a prog mindset to acoustic interactions while highlighting some of the pianist's seminal, non-jazz influences—King Crimson, Soft Machine, and Can, among others. With "Sweet Thoughts"—and all that goes with them—the trio changes gears by slowly waltzing in elastic swing time. And following an urgent introduction on "Cedar Tree Dance," things loosen up and enter a swampy, NOLA-influenced atmosphere.

Opening on those four originals, Gardony establishes a particular center of gravity from the very beginning. And in shifting focus and entering the realm of the unknown with the mystically shrouded "All That Remains," he moves away from it while continuing to underscore the simpatico partnership at the heart of this production. Save for "Times of Discord," with its potent and percussive flair, and the African-influenced "Savanna Sunrise," an odd-metered charmer with hypnotic qualities and beautiful melodica work from Gardony and kalimba lines from Israel, the remainder of the program explores the act of instant creation and development. In one instance, as on "Walking in Silence," quiet purpose precedes tension; and in another, like "Night Run," friskiness figures strongly into the equation. Working with a blank canvas, the trio freely moves between calm and storm while harnessing and controlling elemental tides with collective strength. And it's no different within clearer designs. Whether operating off the cuff or on a map, Gardony, Lockwood and Israel always find their way together.

Track Listing

Irrepressible; Strong Minds; Sweet Thoughts; Cedar Tree Dance; All That Remains; Times of Discord; Savanna Sunrise; Walking in Silence; Everybody Needs a Home; Hopeful Vision; Night Run; Cold Earth.


Laszlo Gardony: piano; John Lockwood: bass; Yoron Israel: drums.

Album information

Title: Close Connection | Year Released: 2022 | Record Label: Sunnyside Records

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