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Laszlo Gardony, a lyrical pianist, often shades his playing in pastels as he explores the standards and original material on Natural Instinct. For this effort he works in a compact trio with drummer Yoron Israel and bassist John Lockwood.
Gardony's laid-back approach works well most of the time. He has a bent towards building motifs with deliberation, layer upon layer, until he fulfills his vision. However, he makes a greater impact when he lets fire stoke his engines and sends him chugging along. The effect then is deep and intense.
Gardony's composition "Revolution is based on a folk melody. Gardony extends the body of the melody with a meditative air, nestling a short burst of lilt against a sombre air. He swings with ease, with the rhythm section playing along. The duality of approach works well. Another original, "Thinking of Stella, is a ballad, shimmering softly in the shade of the piano's gentle ministrations. Gardony loosens up for "Motherless Child. There is an emphatic spark as he thrusts forward and invests a host of colours, including a tint of the blues.
Horace Silver's "Peace is the perfect vehicle for Gardony. He shades the tempo with a flow of germane ideas, letting space breathe life and then indulging in a whirlpool of notes, the alternating rhythmic shifts once again showcasing the sphere of his improvisation. Gardony, Lockwood and Israel play with insight and assurance, whatever the mood, helping make this recording accessible and pleasing.
Track Listing: Natural Instinct; Revolution; Hidden Message; Motherless Child; Me and My Echo; Waking
Dreams; Thinking of Stella; Peace; Softly (As in a Morning Sunrise); Someone; Us and the
Night and the Music.
Personnel: Laszlo Gardony: piano; John Lockwood: bass; Yoron Israel: drums.
As a kid, my mom told me I'd like jazz. I thought she was nuts. Then I went to hear Cannonball Adderley (with Nat Adderley, George Duke, Walter Booker, Roy McCurdy and Airto) and everything changed. Yeah, mom knows best.