Close Connection: an espresso with Laszlo Gardony


March 11, 2023

Laszlo Gardony’s trio returns with “Close Connection”, an album full of music, ideas, timbres and brightness.

> Ivano Rossato

How were the compositions of “Close Connection” born? What creative and compositional process do you usually follow?
I composed six of the 12 tunes fairly recently and the other six were collective compositions. By the middle of the second day we were done recording more than we needed for an album and still had three hours pre-paid studio time. So it was a spontaneous idea to just start playing, trusting our 20-plus years of close musical connection. These six improvised compositions were created in the moment listening to each other with utmost focus. They are songs telling stories, forms that stands on their own; an unknowing listener would not be able to tell they were improvised.
What influence did the trio and your fellow musicians have on the final result of the recorded songs compared to the original idea?
When I arrange my pieces for my trio, I am very clear on what I would like them to do on the themes. The improvisational parts are always a wonderful give-and-take on the structures of the songs. There is always a genuine understanding between us about the spirit of the songs, which is an incredible plus to have for a composer. The six improvised pieces, of course, were shaped throughout by all three of us, in real time.
Many songs contained in “Close Connection” are characterized by a very personal rhythmic drive: what are your main musical influences?
I love music that comes from a genuine source. So, all my life I was treasuring those special moments when music really spoke to me. Therefore, my influences come from a wide range of musical sources; however, I have always been a discerning listener. Many jazz, progressive rock, gospel, blues, folk and classical greats touched me live and on records.
The atmospheres of “Close Connection’ range from the reflective, to the pressing, to the cheerful – overall it conveys a luminous happiness. Is it a premeditated choice from the beginning?
I am glad that you feel the happiness, the underlying positivity of the music. I would rather call it our attitude about life than a premeditated choice. If life as an artist teaches you to be fearless, strong and steady, that is a good foundation.
How does “Close Connection” stand artistically compared to the previous albums?
True art is an honest, caring response to what we experience in life. If I don’t find it relevant to me and potentially helpful to my listeners, I wouldn’t put it out. This is true of all my albums. “Close Connection” received a great response: excellent reviews from major publications, audiences love it – from our sold-out record release concert at Birdland to others across five states. An audience member wrote: “This concert instantly slipped into my top jazz memories of all time. Felt so privileged to experience these 3 creative musicians interacting and bringing the music to life in the moment. So glad to see the unique creative ensemble all together, drawing on a long history of collaboration and strong artistic and emotional bonds.”
I can only add one thing to this: we feel privileged too.
Close Connection: an espresso with Laszlo Gardony copyright Jazzespresso 2023.
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