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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Hal Galper Trio: Airegin Revisited

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Hal Galper's Airegin Revisited is exhilarating. The pianist has been working at his artistry for more than a half century, and he is moving surely into the “elder statesman of jazz" category, riding the furious wave of several distinctive and idiosyncratic trio recordings. Galper, like alto saxophonist Lee Konitz and pianist Martial Solal, has gone deeper into the music than seems possible, taking a great many standards and unleashing them, reshaping the familiar tunes with his unwavering vision into a new art.Galper has, in recent years, found a new home at Origin Records, offering a discography--Furious Rubato (2007), ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Hal Galper Trio: Trip the Light Fantastic

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About eighty percent of the jazz piano players out there can fit into one of two schools: that of the introspective, harmonically rich Bill Evans mode; or the more percussive and gregarious Bud Powell bebop approach. There's also a small slice of the that pie that draws it primary inspiration from bright and splashy Art Tatum/Oscar Peterson pre-bop playing style, along with various subsets. Then there are those who take a foundation of one of those approaches and craft something quite unique, the path that Hal Galper has taken over the past decade.A veteran of the groups of ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Hal Galper: E Pluribus Unum

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Pianist Hal Galper began his journey into “rubato" playing early on in the new millennium, after a quite vibrant career in the mainstream, playing and recording with the likes of all-star alto saxophonists Phil Woods and Cannonball Adderley, legendary trumpeter Chet Baker and guitarist John Scofield. It hasn't always been a smooth ride. At a show with guitarist John Stowell at Carlsbad, California's Museum of Making Music back in 2007, drawing a rather conservative crowd--a group of listeners that was expecting, perhaps, a traditional approach to the standards--grumblings could be heard in the folding chaired audience, hushed comments like, “Why ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Hal Galper: Now Hear This

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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, bassist Cecil McBee and drummer Tony Williams. The title track, which was recorded by its composer with a different quintet ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Hal Galper: Furious Rubato

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Hal Galper's aptly named Furious Rubato, finds the pianist opening the listener's ears by stretching the tempo of the tunes and frequently seeming to be playing independently of his rhythm section without ever losing sight of the harmony within each song, approaching free jazz but never abandoning post-bop. He's accompanied by bassist Jeff Johnson (who has worked with Galper regularly in the past) and drummer John Bishop, both of whom excel in meeting the pianist's demands. The fireworks start with his avalanche-like introduction to Miles Davis' “Milestones (the song first recorded for Savoy, not the later one ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Hal Galper: Furious Rubato

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Hal Galper Furious Rubato Origin Records 2007

The new recording from pianist Hal Galper, with double-bassist Jeff Johnson and drummer John Bishop, initially conjures to mind the free improvisations of Cecil Taylor, Don Pullen with Charles Mingus, McCoy Tyner with John Coltrane, and Miles Davis, whose “Milestones and “Miles Ahead appear among these eight tracks. Mr. Galper plays orchestral piano, utilizing the full range of his instrument to interpret the music and infuse it with energy and virility. Mr. Johnson, a veteran member of Galper's trio during the 90's, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Hal Galper/Jeff Johnson/John Bishop: Furious Rubato

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Pianist Hal Galper spent a big part of his career working with some of the giants of the mainstream, players like trumpeter Chet Baker, alto saxophonist Cannonball Adderley, guitar master John Scofield and bop alto sax legend Phil Woods. With his Agents of Change (Fabola Records, 2006), a trio outing with drummer Billy Mintz and bassist Tony Marino, he moved out of the familiar flow to explore the “rubato style" of playing, an open, circular approach to time and melody.On Furious Rubato he forges ahead with that exploratory process, again in the trio setting, enlisting bassist Jeff Johnson ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Hal Galper Trio: Agents of Change

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Pianist Hal Galper spent most of the '80s playing in Phil Woods' quintet, and he spent three years on the road with Cannonball Adderley. He's also worked with Chet Baker and Stan Getz, and he cites bop pioneer Bud Powell as a major influence; so you might expect on his latest offering, the piano trio Agents of Change, some straight-ahead bebop sounds. But there's a surprise in store: a change.Playing in a “rubato" style, immersing himself in some time-tested standards and three of his own compositions, Galper and company stretch out in the direction of freedom on some ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Hal Galper Quintet: Let's Call This That

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Blowing Session! Let's Call This That comes closer to the old Blue Note blowing sessions than any recording I have heard in a long time. First are the musicians. Veteran Hal Galper has assembled a crack band whose members have an obvious empathy for one another. Each is exciting and innovative in his own right. Trumpeter Tim Hagans has been all over the map during the past two years. RED Records stalwart Jerry Bergonzi has enjoyed his share of exposure recently and contributes his expansive tenor on this outing. The rhythm section of Jeff Johnson and Steve Ellington has been ...



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