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Laszlo Gardony

Signature Time

(Sunnyside; US: 31 May 2011; UK: 31 May 2011)

Hungarian pianist Laszlo Gardony sure has a peculiar way of playing Beatles covers. His rendition of “Lady Madonna” makes me think that he has only a vague understanding of how the tune actually goes, and the left hand vamps that propel “Eleanor Rigby” change very little, if at all, while the main melody does its thing. Of course, these aren’t bad things, just a little out of the ordinary. The remainder of Gardony’s Signature Time walks a pretty ordinary line, though. He never plays the eccentric composer, nor the showboating virtuoso card. The work performed here with John Lockwood, Yoron Israel and Stan Strickland is nestled into the limitations, however competently tackled, that a standard jazz piano ensemble possesses. The oddball vocalizations of saxophonist Strickland bring an all too brief off-kilter bent to things. Nothing dangerous, but it is wonderfully at odds with Gardony’s straight-up blues “Bourbon Street Boogie”.

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