131

Rick Gallagher: Sugar Shack

John Barron By

Sign in to view read count
Rick Gallagher: Sugar Shack Jazz musicians often struggle with the notion of attracting a wide audience without having to sacrifice their creative vision. Pittsburgh pianist Rick Gallagher seems to have figured out a way to produce original jazz with an accessible appeal that maintains artistic integrity. Sugar Shack, Gallagher's fifth solo release, is an inventive, swinging piano trio collection featuring bassist Paul Thompson and drummer Thomas Wendt. Percussionist George Jones joins in on a couple of tracks.

Gallagher is a confident pianist with the perfect blend of technique and finesse. With a mature approach to soloing, he develops his ideas with persistent clarity, emphasizing feeling over flash.

Gallagher's compositions traverse a variety of stylistic samplings. Through ballads, Latin grooves and swingers, the focus is on strong melodic content. The Oscar Peterson-influenced "One Juicy Apple and the cascading ballad "Everything About Her stand out as exceptional.

Cover versions of Lennon and McCartney's "Eleanor Rigby and 1980s pop anthem "Everybody Wants to Rule the World, by Tears for Fears, are creatively restructured, blending in nicely to the disc's overall flow.

Gallagher's trio mates display adept professionalism, adapting effortlessly to the disc's stylistic twists and turns. With ample solo space, Thompson demonstrates a lyrical, buoyant bass style, most notably on the lush ballad "Cade's Lullaby. Wendt is a rock-solid drummer who knows how to listen effectively. His crisp cymbal work on "Prayer, a lively waltz, is at once supportive and enticing. Jones adds a funky dose of percussion to "When Morning Comes, a soulful bossa-nova, and "Thick & Skinny, a greasy boogaloo.

As multi-layered as the music on Sugar Shack is, each piece exhibits a common thread of collaborative spirit, void of pretense. Gallagher and company are quite content at performing high quality jazz that is fundamentally joyous and swinging.

Track Listing: Sugar Shack; Eleanor Rigby; Emma; Cade

Personnel: Rick Gallagher: piano; Paul Thompson: bass; Thomas Wendt: drums; George Jones: percussion (5, 9).

Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: Self Produced | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

Bailey's Bundles
CD/LP/Track Review
Take Five With...
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Christmas Tidings - A...
RiDGeTONE Music
2017
buy
Hymns
RiDGeTONE Music
2017
buy
Solo Standard Vol. I
RiDGeTONE Music
2012
buy
Sugar Shack
RiDGeToNe Music
2007
buy

More Articles

Read Nightfall CD/LP/Track Review Nightfall
by John Kelman
Published: May 22, 2017
Read Pekka CD/LP/Track Review Pekka
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 22, 2017
Read In the Still of the Night CD/LP/Track Review In the Still of the Night
by Nicholas F. Mondello
Published: May 22, 2017
Read Zea CD/LP/Track Review Zea
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 22, 2017
Read Asian Fields Variations CD/LP/Track Review Asian Fields Variations
by John Kelman
Published: May 21, 2017
Read Left Right Left CD/LP/Track Review Left Right Left
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: May 21, 2017
Read "Out Of The Blue" CD/LP/Track Review Out Of The Blue
by Mark Sullivan
Published: October 15, 2016
Read "Away With You" CD/LP/Track Review Away With You
by Troy Dostert
Published: October 18, 2016
Read "Alom Mola" CD/LP/Track Review Alom Mola
by John Eyles
Published: May 10, 2017
Read "The Book of Transfigurations" CD/LP/Track Review The Book of Transfigurations
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: May 8, 2017
Read "Six Easy Pieces" CD/LP/Track Review Six Easy Pieces
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 5, 2017
Read "The Outlier" CD/LP/Track Review The Outlier
by Jerome Wilson
Published: July 22, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Why wait?

Support All About Jazz and we'll deliver exclusive content, hide ads, and provide read access to our future articles.