Uptown!, like drummer Towner Galaher's two previous releases, relies on multiple horns to flesh out the leader's melodies and some choice covers, but it's still a departure from his earlier work. Piano, bass and drums with some added percussion was served as the rhythmic nucleus at the center of Panorama (Self Produced, 2007) and Courageous Hearts (Self Produced, 2009), but Uptown! is all about an organ-drum relationship at the heart of the music. Galaher enlisted rising star organist Pat Bianchi as his rhythm mate on this hip, horn-heavy program and they exhibit a strong connection from the ...read more
Thanks to a weapons-grade lineup and original compositions that recall the salad days of The Brecker Brothers, Towner Galaher's Courageous Hearts has more than its share of awesome moments. However, Courageous also begs a question about the drummer that was asked about Mike Tyson back in the day: Can he do more than just hit really hard?
Like Tyson, Galaher works fast: Most of his music comes in under five minutes, with two pieces clocking in around 3:45. In the pop world, 3:45 is an opera; in jazz, it's the equivalent of an e.e. cummings couplet. Short should not be ...read more
Panorama is a testament that straight-ahead jazz can still thrive in modern times. Drummer/composer Towner Galaher, an astute leader and sideman who has performed with names like Wynton Marsalis and in ensembles such as Chico O'Farrill's Afro-Cuban Jazz Big Band, carries the torch of jazz drummers like Art Blakey. Galaher's playing is more than solid, yet unselfishly he draws attention not to himself but to the music and a very tight band with proven stalwarts bassist Charles Fambrough and pianist Onaje Allen Gumbs, plus two fiery young guns, trumpeter Maurice Brown and saxophonist Mark Shim. Galaher leads ...read more