The elements that which continue to compel me to listen to the works of Lord Bygon (Giuseppe Gambino) are all apparent in the track, “Take It Over.” With Bygon, it is all about the music, how it moves and into what grooves his melodies take it.
As is his trademark, to my ears, Lord Bygon weaves melodies into the most striking and pleasing chord changes imaginable. He has absorbed qualities from pop and jazz that guide his creations in a manner that surprises the listener while at the same time makes the listener feel a natural flow.
“Take It Over” is a simple piece but defines Lord Bygon’s style to the max. It is a fearless approach, filled with confidence and zest, with quite the right dynamic expected from someone whose influences buzz in his head like a swarm of killer bees.
The track is from his best-of collection, “Thirst,” which features the scope and range of his continental vocals and lofty lyrics. You have only to listen to the title tune to be exposed to how he arranges these complex pieces and presents them with just the right instrumentation.
Lord Bygon doesn’t over do any piece. He is loyal to the instrument that is his voice and his harmonies are the featured instruments. In “God Bless You” he orchestrates these voices so subtly and elegantly within the type of melody I have mentioned that you understand why he doesn’t venture into extraneous arrangement.
Understanding one’s strengths as a performer is a rare quality in the days of digital-recording marvel, and Lord Bygon could teach a few performers out there now just how to focus on what is really important about a song one creates. “Elegantly Wasted” is testimony to this understanding.
Another solid attribute about Lord Bygon is his allegiance to romance. His tunes reveal a strange, yet admirable acceptance of the chaos that is affection. How he presents this, especially in the masculinity of “The Twilight Is Coming,” is unique and glorious in its allegory. Most other performers might take this out of its minstrel atmosphere and ruin the mood. Not Lord Bygon. He allows the melody to stand naked with the lyrics spinning in all of their pain and mourning.
The jazz element is always the most difficult to blend into the pop element. It can shave the edge off of melodies and confuse a piece. It takes a true master of the spirit of jazz to be able to “hear” what could work or what could be damaging to a song. Failure after failure comes from the attempts to mix jazz and pop, but Lord Bygon appears to have an intrinsic talent for such adaptation. In fact, he can add classical influences, as in “Disease Of The World” and pull it all off with the acumen of a gourmet cook.
The best part of it is that the best of Lord Bygon’s work is probably still ahead of him.