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Laszlo Gardony: Clarity

Solo-piano albums are usually the work of the most talented and audacious of pianists. Think Art Tatum, Oscar Peterson, Cecil Taylor and Keith Jarrett. Or recent solo efforts from Vijay Iyer, Geri Allen, Fred Hersch and Craig Taborn. Or, now, the new Sunnyside release from the generally underappreciated Laszlo Gardony.

Clarity is actually Gardony’s second solo effort, the first being his interpretations of familiar jazz vehicles on the 1995 album Changing Standards. Clarity, by contrast, is 49 minutes of pure improvisation, broken into what Gardony views as “10 short stories building on each other.” Gardony went into a studio at the Berklee College of Music (where he is a longtime faculty member) on Oct. 25 thinking of his recently departed parents and hit the “record” button. “It was a very joyful, expansive but introspective session,” he recalls in a press release. “I sat down, felt really inspired, and one tune led to another.”

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