All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

426

Laszlo Gardony: Signature Time

Bruce Lindsay By

Sign in to view read count
According to his liner notes, pianist Laszlo Gardony's Signature Time is "a tribute to all African-inspired sound." It's a tribute that recognizes the centrality of African music in so many contemporary genres, showing this recognition in the creation of some fine original music and the reworking of some classic songs.

Gardony was born in Hungary but has been resident in the USA for some years. He's a professor of piano at Berklee and has worked with Dave Holland, Randy Brecker and Miroslav Vitous, among others. The core trio of Gardony, bassist John Lockwood and drummer Yoron Israel has been together for almost a decade. Tenor saxophonist Stan Strickland, Gardony's old friend and collaborator, adds some tellingly effective horn playing as well as an evocative wordless vocal on "Spirit Dance."

The band is at its most upbeat on "Bourbon Street Boogie," a 20-bar blues that gives Strickland some space to blow, but it's the two most laidback tunes that show the musicians' talents off to best effect. "Silent Words" is a wonderfully gentle piece of music. The trio is controlled, concise, economical, yet manages to invest the seemingly simple and repetitive tune with great humanity and beauty. "Under The Sky" combines Gardony's piano with Israel's vibraharp to create another placid, reflective and beautiful tune.

Gardony also has an imaginative way with cover versions. Billy Strayhorn's "Johnny Come Lately" gets a bop-flavored treatment with Lockwood's solid pulse and Israel's swinging percussion giving Gardony and Strickland a strong center around which they create flowing and lyrical lines. Lennon and McCartney's "Lady Madonna" sounds rather unimaginative by comparison—in stark contrast to the band's reinterpretation of "Eleanor Rigby." Gardony keeps this song's melody at the center of his arrangement, but Lockwood and Gardony's bass line gives the tune a hypnotic and dark pulse while Israel's jagged, funky drumming could almost be classed as a second lead line. Sir George Shearing's "Lullaby Of Birdland" gets a similarly creative reworking—Lockwood's bass riff once again at the heart of the music as Gardony and Israel set up a slinky and relaxed groove.

Signature Time has style, imagination and beauty, both on Gardony's original compositions and on his imaginatively reworked versions of standards. The album enhances the reputation of every one of the musicians and re-affirms the talents of Gardony himself.

Track Listing: With You At The Bridge; On African Land; Lady Madonna; Lullaby of Birdland; Silent Words; Johnny Come Lately; Under The Sky; Eleanor Rigby; Spirit Dance; Bourbon Street Boogie.

Personnel: Laszlo Gardony: piano; John Lockwood: bass; Yoron Israel: drums, vibraharp; Stan Strickland: tenor saxophone, vocal (9).

Title: Signature Time | Year Released: 2011 | Record Label: Sunnyside Records

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

Serious Play

Serious Play

Laszlo Gardony
Serious Play

Bourbon Street Boogie

Bourbon Street Boogie

Laszlo Gardony
Life In Real Time

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Serious Play

Serious Play

Sunnyside Records
2017

buy
Life In Real Time

Life In Real Time

Sunnyside Records
2015

buy
Clarity

Clarity

Sunnyside Records
2013

buy
Signature Time

Signature Time

Sunnyside Records
2011

buy
Dig Deep

Dig Deep

Sunnyside Records
2008

buy
Natural Instinct

Natural Instinct

Sunnyside Records
2006

buy

Related Articles

Read Picture in Black and White CD/LP/Track Review
Picture in Black and White
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: October 15, 2018
Read Change In The Air CD/LP/Track Review
Change In The Air
by Mark Sullivan
Published: October 15, 2018
Read I Ching CD/LP/Track Review
I Ching
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: October 15, 2018
Read Hidden Details CD/LP/Track Review
Hidden Details
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: October 15, 2018
Read We Are the Orchestra CD/LP/Track Review
We Are the Orchestra
by James Fleming
Published: October 14, 2018
Read Electric Miles CD/LP/Track Review
Electric Miles
by Jack Bowers
Published: October 14, 2018
Read "Najwa" CD/LP/Track Review Najwa
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: May 17, 2018
Read "Charlie & Paul" CD/LP/Track Review Charlie & Paul
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 25, 2018
Read "Solo a Genova" CD/LP/Track Review Solo a Genova
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: January 18, 2018
Read "We Are the Orchestra" CD/LP/Track Review We Are the Orchestra
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 29, 2018
Read "Sunshine In My Head" CD/LP/Track Review Sunshine In My Head
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 14, 2018
Read "Music IS" CD/LP/Track Review Music IS
by John Kelman
Published: March 9, 2018