Gardony's seasoned trio of six years features bassist John Lockwood and drummer Yoron Isreal, both fellow Berklee faculty members. They excel in the context of Gardony's diverse, often surprising compositions. Isreal, a bandleader in his own right, shines whether he is providing supple, sensitive brushwork (as on 'Wide Awake' and 'New Song') or pounding out hard-funking 4/4 on 'Heavy,' a tune Gardony aptly describes as "...a protest song from deep." Lockwood's fluid bass artfully intertwines with Isreal's deft drumming on the adventurous, odd-metered 'In Transit.' Gardony's predilection for odd times also plays out quite dynamically on 'Three Minute Mile,' and 'Out On Top' - the latter a beguiling boogaloo in 5/4. The pianist's funky reworking of 'Summertime' as an acoustic jazz hip-hop tune (sans the MC) may raise a few eyebrows, but only the moldiest of figs would object. Here, all three trio members contribute hard-grooving, soulful solos. Gardony is anything but derivative, though the tastefully elegiac 'New Song' seems to conjure the work of Ahmad Jamal with its blend of dark harmonies, brilliantly conceived melody, and African-inspired bass ostinato. One surprising aspect of "Dig Deep" is the prevalence of Gospel- and Blues-derived themes - 'Sunday Afternoon' is a prime example, though each tune seems to delve into these areas quite effectively. 'Rhymes,' cited by Gardony as having an Indian influence, feels to me more like one of Abdullah Ibrahim's gently undulating, Gospel-tinged, Soweto-inspired meditations. Either way, it's a beautiful way to close out a richly rewarding CD.