Levitation II :: Reviews and Quotes
KEVIN KASTNING & LASZLO GARDONY
On 20th August 2021, Kevin Kastning (36-string Double Contraguitar) and internationally acclaimed Boston-based jazz pianist and composer Laszlo Gardony (Professor of Piano at Berklee College of Music and also teacher at Harvard University’s Jazz Combo Initiative) entered a studio to undertake some musical adventures. It was the first time they had played together, although they had studied each other’s work, and was the first time Kevin had paired the double contraguitar with a piano, but very quickly they realised they had each found a kindred spirit and were able to bounce ideas off each other. One album has already been released featuring recordings from that day, ‘Levitation I’, and now we have the second, again with no overdubs whatsoever.
Due to the improvised and experimental nature of his music, I always find the full joy and beauty of Kevin’s albums only let themselves be known after repeated plays, and there is certainly a great deal in here to be discovered. Both musicians are happy to take the lead, yet neither of them really sits back, and there are runs of play (such as near the beginning of “Levitation Opus 8”) which are highly joined, and it is incredible to think none of this was rehearsed or scored and that the two of them are literally working and bouncing off each other. The use of a guitar with so many strings allow Kevin to provide some thumping deep bass sounds as well as more 12-string moments, while Laszlo also uses the full length of the keyboards, driving deep into the left hand or providing rippling moments with the right. This is experimental music which can be somewhat difficult to listen to for those coming across this style for the first time, yet I found this (as I did with the first album) to be incredibly enjoyable, with a huge range of sonics at play andinteractions that allow both musicians to really shine. The dynamics are wonderful, and the use of space second to none, the result being yet another release by Kevin which is well worthy of discovery.
- Gonzo Weekly / Kev Rowland
July 2023 (ENGLAND)
Kevin Kastning and Laszlo Gardony: Levitation II (2023)
US artist Kevin Kastning and US based artist Laszlo Gardony are out with the album "Levitation II", and the landscapes explored on this production is probably best described as residing inside of a jazz tradition. The tracks on this album all come across as improvised performances, where both instruments have more of a loose orientation that revolve around unusual note and tone patterns, with micro-melodies and reverbs that often create a subtly eerie mood and atmosphere, but with occasional lapses into more conventional melodies and harmonies appearing along the way too. This is music with more of an introspective nature in my opinion, landscapes to listen to with perhaps not so much intent listening but rather creations you allow to enter your mind just to be. While I'm not an expert in this type of music by far, I'd suggest that those with a fancy for expressive, minimalist jazz with an improvised and free form orientation with the guitar and the piano as the instrumentation used should be something of a key audience for this album.
- The Viking in the Wilderness (NORWAY)
"Listening to Levitation and marveling at your magnificent playing once again. You've built on the last project and are playing in such a unique way that has never been done before. Love the interplay between the bass and piano on Opus 9 particularly. It is a real conversation!"
- Madi Das (US)
"Intergalactic abstract jazz funk! Very cool that you recorded it live with no overdubs."
- Will Clipman, pan-global percussionist & seven-time GRAMMY® Nominee (US)
© 2023 Greydisc Records / Suigeneria Music [BMI]