In his fifth decade as a major jazz artist, Hal Galper continues the innovation that has made him one of the most surprising and satisfying pianists alive. Galper is at the forefront of players reaching audiences through the time-tested magic of swing while integrating adventurous rhythmic and harmonic concepts. The exploration of rubato playing in his trio is uncovering possibilities that deepen the jazz experience for musicians and listeners alike. On the All About Jazz website, reviewer Dan McGlenaghan summarized the Galper effect:
“He has also found two like-minded musical brothers in bassist Jeff Johnson and drummer John Bishop, versatile and sophisticated players who can keep up with his “Rubato” concept, one of playing loose and free with tempo and harmony— even structure—twisting the familiar forms like a rubber band, then pulling them back and letting them fly free.”
Galper’s albums with Johnson and Bishop on the Origin label have attracted enthusiasm in Jazz Times, Downbeat, JazzIz and a variety of other publications. A typical reaction came in Downbeat’s review of Aerigin Revisited (2012): “…the high level of integration and communication the trio displays is rare and quite thrilling to experience…”
In his work as an educator, Galper’s teaching and writings provide emerging musicians and veteran players with theoretical knowledge to bolster their music making, and with business sense to help them toward professional success. A founding member of the New School of Jazz and Contemporary Music, where he still teaches. In 2014 Galper retired from his 14 year term on the faculty of Purchase Conservatory. He frequently travels the college lecture-workshop circuit.
His theory of Forward Motion, first published as a series of articles in Downbeat, offers insights into the workings of melodies, secrets of phrasing and ways of practicing scales to enhance jazz performance. “As most problems with playing music are perceptual in nature,” Hal says, “to change the way you play you have to change the way you think.” He gives private instruction in person and in one- on-one lessons via broadband computer connections. His book Forward Motion has been a big seller since it first appeared. The E-book version was the first interactive E-book in which its more than 300 musical examples could be played in a computer browser. Both the E-book and the hard cover edition are available at www.halgalper.com. Galper’s The Touring Musician: A Small Business Approach to Booking Your Band on the Road is a practical guide to selecting and managing musicians, creating budgets, booking engagements and practical matters such as how to deal with the complexities and frustrations of air travel. Details about his all of his publications and educational videos and articles may be found on his website.