Monday, August 29, 2011

Laszlo Gardony Gets Into Odd-Time Signatures and Pianistic Singularity on "Signature Time"

While you've been doing what ever you've been doing Hungarian-born pianist-composer-bandleader Laszlo Gardony has just completed his ninth album. Signature Time (Sunnyside 4011) is the name of it, which rightfully suggests that this is Laszlo's personal stylistic statement, and also that time signatures will be a factor. Both are quite true.

It's a goodly trio part of the time with Laszlo at the piano, John Lockwood on bass, and Yoron Israel at the drums. Tenorist Stan Strickland productively cameos with the group at key points.

Those are the preliminaries. Gardony's pianistic style is eclectic and well-executed. He is most effective expanding on a theme he has devised, working off of an ostinato, getting into an odd-time signature groove and using dynamics (in a post-Jamalistic way) to heighten a swinging feel.

I've mentioned the originals, which are appropriate vehicles. Then there are some quirky versions of various standards, the Beatles' "Lady Madonna" and "Eleanor Rigby;" Duke's "Johnny Come Lately," Shearing's "Lullaby of Birdland" (done in four but sounding in it's own way like it's in an odd signature regardless!). So then not everything is irregular in meter. Things can and do swing or funk in regular time and that serves to contrast the various times well.

Stan Strickland sounds very good on his moments. Everyone is in the groove. Mr. Gardony does not sound like anyone's clone. And the music is quite good.

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