Jazz CD Reviews

Laszlo Gardony, piano – Clarity – Sunnyside
Gregg Kallor, piano – A Single Noon – Single Noon

Two solo piano, sort-of-jazz efforts; the second one a winner.

Published on April 21, 2013

Laszlo Gardony, piano – Clarity – Sunnyside SSC 4014, 48 min. [5/7/13] **:

Gregg Kallor, piano – A Single Noon – Single Noon SNR3, 45 min. [4/30/13] ****:

There’s no note booklet with the Gardony CD, but from the few notes on the package it appears the pianist is on the staff of the Berklee School in Boston and just turned on the recorder in his studio one time when he felt inspired.  He felt the results were worth releasing as a CD. Unfortunately, I felt that while both of these pianists eschew the heavy swinging jazz style and are much influenced by musical minimalism, Gardony carries the minimalism a bit too far to keep my interest. Most of his ten tracks approach the sort of repetition that in early Philip Glass and most Steve Reich drive me up the wall. Also, the recorded sound suffers from not having been a legitimate studio session.

TrackList:

1 Settling of a Racing Mind
2 Surface Reflections
3 Looking Deeper
4 Working Through (Clarity)
5 Finding Strength
6 Better Place
7 Opened Window (Hopeful Horizon)
8 Tempering
9 Resilient Joy
10 Resolution (Perfect Place)


Gregg Kallor also makes use of minimalism in the nine tracks of A Single Noon CD, but there is a good feeling to the fairly contemplative selections he has created. He is a talented young composer and pianist who comes from a classical background and sounds like it. He made his concert debut at Carnegie Hall six years ago and this is his second CD. The poetry of Emily Dickinson is an influence on his work, and he also seeks to communicate the fast-track lifestyle of his home, New York City. His selections have some peaceful moments and then will suddenly take off at a hectic NYC-style speed, which also shows off Kallor’s terrific technique at the keyboard.

Each of the nine “movements” have a notation in the included note booklet. The pieces sound like they are part composed and part improvised, and the “Noon” title doesn’t seem to quite fit since there is a NYC nighttime mood about most of them. Some might even classify this as a sort of mood music, but if so it is mood music of a very high quality. He said that his CD is “a love letter to this incredible city,” and that sort of sums up the album. Also, the sonics here are some of the best piano sound that can possibly be achieved using the inadequate 44.1K/16-bit standard CD format.

TrackList:

1 A Single Noon

2 Broken Sentences

3 Night

4 Straphanger’s Lurch

5 Found

6 Espresso Nirvana

7 Giants

8 Things to Come

9 Here Now

—John Henry

 




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