Master pianist Laszlo Gardony brings his trio to the Spire center with special guest saxophonist Don Braden for the South Shore jazz event of the season.
Gardony is celebrating the release of his new album Close Connection, a confluence of musical styles in a highly interactive trio setting, where Laszlo’s Central European folk roots come to the fore alongside his lifelong love of jazz standards and his youthful infatuation with ’70s prog-rock. It’s where Bartok meets Monk and King Crimson, filtered through Gardony’s unique prism and expertly interpreted by his longtime simpatico rhythm section of bassist John Lockwood and drummer Yoron Israel. It’s a mix he calls “New Prog Jazz.”
The album is already getting rave reviews, with PopMatters saying that “by combining progressive rock with Hungarian folk music on Close Connection, jazz pianist Laszlo Gardony finds yet a new way to play jazz.” Ink 19 says that Gardony is “bringing the energy and excitement of prog to his acoustic jazz trio…a great record to use to convince a headbanger to give jazz a chance.”
Internationally acclaimed Boston-based jazz pianist and composer Laszlo Gardony is one of the most expressive and technically skilled pianists working in jazz today. “A formidable improviser who lives in the moment,” according to JazzTimes, Gardony has performed in 27 countries and released 14 albums as a leader: 11 on the Sunnyside label, two on Antilles and one on Avenue Jazz. Winner of the Great American Jazz Piano Competition, he has been noted for his “fluid pianism” by The New York Times, praised by JazzTimes for his “incredible technique spread over a highly personal harmonic language,” lauded by The Boston Phoenix for his “accessible lyricism and subtle complexities” and celebrated by the UK’s Jazzwise as a “fine pianist who has mastered the sound of surprise” and hailed by Cadence as a pianist deserving of wider recognition. And as DownBeat put it: “No matter how busy Gardony becomes, there’s a stillness at the center of his music, a distinctive amalgam of central European folk strains, majestic classic piano and improvisational fearlessness.” The legendary Dave Brubeck also called him “a great pianist.” A professor in the piano department at Berklee College of Music since 1987, Gardony is also a faculty member at Harvard University’s Jazz Combo Initiative program.
At the Spire Center Gardony’s trio will be joined by saxophonist Don Braden, who appeared on Gardony’s acclaimed 2015 release Life in Real Time. Braden is known around the world as an exciting and interactive jazz soloist, a creative and prolific composer, a passionate and energetic educator and as a specialist at arranging and performing classic popular songs in the modern jazz style. Having spent years as the saxophonist with greats like Betty Carter, Wynton Marsalis, Freddie Hubbard and Roy Haynes, he has developed an extensive knowledge of every aspect of jazz performance.