Pianist Laszlo Gardonyís first trio album in more than a decade is a welcome return to a format at which he excels. Working with bassist John Lockwood and drummer Jamie Haddad, he puts his personal stamp on a wide range of material, from odd-metered tunes that reflect his Hungarian roots to jazz classics like Miles Davisís "Blue in Green" to lyrical free improvisation. Gardony has a firm, weighty touch, but his lines dance effortlessly, with a smooth articulation and carefully modulated colors. He swings as easily in the odd meters of "Come with Me" as on the standard "There Will Never Be Another You." And his melodic sense imbues both the title track and the free-form "Mystical" with an accessible lyricism and subtle complexities.
All three players share the ability to listen and interact in creative ways, so there are surprising little twists and turns on each track, including one of the most inventive treatments of Monkís well-worn " íRound Midnight" in recent memory. The ever-resourceful Lockwood finds a new way through each chorus, placing his notes with exquisite care to create rhythmic variety. Haddad is just as sensitive and a masterful percussion colorist to boot. Together they make classic jazz-piano trio music full of character and individuality.