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Hal Galper: Now Hear This (2009)

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Hal Galper: Now Hear This How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

Hal Galper has had a long, distinguished career as a jazz pianist, bandleader, composer and educator. While the pianist has made a flurry of recordings over the past few years, record labels are beginning to mine the wealth of material he produced during the '=1970s. Now Hear This was first issued by Enja in 1977 and subsequently reissued in its original form, though this edition sports a redesigned cover and a bonus track. Galper's inspired quartet includes trumpeter Terumasa Hino
Terumasa Hino
Terumasa Hino
b.1942
trumpet
, bassist Cecil McBee
Cecil McBee
Cecil McBee
b.1935
bass, acoustic
and drummer Tony Williams
Tony Williams
Tony Williams
1945 - 1997
drums
. The title track, which was recorded by its composer with a different quintet during the same decade, benefits from the stripped-down quartet and a decent piano (something not available for the live Century LP Speak With a Single Voice (1978)and reissued as the Double Time CD Children of the Night).

"Now Hear This" is one of Galper's most infectious works, as the pianist launches into a furious solo, with Hino's contribution followed by Williams' simmering break. The playful "Red Eye Special" suggests a bit of McCoy Tyner
McCoy Tyner
McCoy Tyner
b.1938
piano
's influence, punctuated by Hino's searing trumpet. Galper builds "First Song of the Day" upon a simple repeated riff, intermingling thunderous chords and lightning runs in his solo, while both Hino's and McBee's features are equally full of fire. This expanded reissue includes a previously unreleased alternate take of it, which is a bit shorter but no less intense than the master. In addition to Galper's five originals, he includes a sauntering, sassy interpretation of Thelonious Monk
Thelonious Monk
Thelonious Monk
1917 - 1982
piano
's "Bemsha Swing." This is easily one of Galper's best recordings of the 1970s and very desirable to have in this expanded, brighter sounding 24bit edition.

Track Listing: Now Hear This; Shadow Waltz; Red Eye Special; First Song In The Day; Mr. Fixit; Bemsha Swing; First Song In The Day (Alt. Take).

Personnel: Hal Galper: piano; Terumasa Hino: trumpet, flugelhorn; Cecil McBee: bass; Tony Williams: drums.

Record Label: Enja Records

Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


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