Bourbon Street Boogie
Lullaby of Birdland
The Other One
Out On Top
Stan Strickland (tenor saxophone, bass clarinet): Don Braden (tenor saxophone): Bill Pierce (tenor saxophone): Laszlo Gardony (piano): John Lockwood
(bass): Yoron Israel (drums)
Recorded 29 September 2014, Berklee Performance Center, Boston, MA
SUNNYSIDE SSC 4019
Pianist Laszlo Gardony, best known for his solo and trio recordings, broadens his discography here with an album featuring no fewer than a trio of
Bourbon Street Boogie
honours its place name with its easy-loping New Orleans vibe. Bill Pierce takes off on this one whilst Don Braden acts as an apt foil, preferring a more
laid back approach before slowly screwing the tension in the second part of his audacious solo. Profitably adding to the gumbo, Gardony enters Professor
Longhair-territory in his solo. By contrast Breakout offers terser, but rhythmically clear opportunities, full of insinuating melodic lines. The
urgency is reflected in Braden and Pierceís sax solos which end in a free-ish blow, and the leaderís swinging solo. All the compositions, except Lullaby of Birdland and Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child, are by the pianist-leader, who is also incidentally the discís
producer. Gemstones is a fine tune, and his richly suggestive chording and apposite comping are highly effective here where. The three saxes Ė
including Stan Strickland - overlap dramatically in the close. Incidentally I donít think itís my imagination that Gardony seems to evoke the sound of the
cimbalom of his native country in this opus.
gets a funk-drenched makeover and Braden is at his throatiest, rawest here. Rather more to my taste is Stricklandís lightness and fluidity in handling the
bass clarinet in Motherless Child, even at this rolling tempo Ė certainly no dirge here. Pierceís tenor is altogether no-nonsense and
straight-ahead. Strickland retains the instrument for New Song, where he shows he can squawk with the best of them, sounding avian, almost
seagull-like. The blues visit The Other One, a utilitarian title for a pleasing, catchy song which shows the ensemble strengths of the band to
great effect. And we end with another Big Easy-styled piece called Out On Top with, this time, a slightly looser sax sound - Braden is especially
mercurial and exuberant Ė and more Longhair from Gardony.
This generously constructed album has been very nicely recorded live at Berklee and adds another feather to Gardonyís compositional and executant cap.