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Last month came Gardony's ninth album, Signature Time, and while the title might suggest a bunch of experiments in time signatures, the theme is really a tribute to the African heritage of so many music styles. For this album, the nine-year-old trio consisting of John Lockwood (bass) and Yoron Isreal (drums, vibraharp) performs, along with Stan Strickland on saxophone.
Not much seems to be going on until we reach the covers. That's when things start to get a little interesting. Lady Madonna" is given a New Orleans funk treatment, Lullaby Of Birdland" is reinvigorated with a circular loping bass figure and another Beatles song, Eleanor Rigby" find Gardony dancing assertively over Lockwood and Israel's spirited groove. Spirit Dance" features a delicate African folk chant by Strickland, the most overtly African, and best original of the album.
As a kid, my mom told me I'd like jazz. I thought she was nuts. Then I went to hear Cannonball Adderley (with Nat Adderley, George Duke, Walter Booker, Roy McCurdy and Airto) and everything changed. Yeah, mom knows best.