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; Cades Lullaby; When Morning Comes; Prayer; Everybody Wants to Rule the World; Everything About Her; Thick & Skinny; One Juicy Apple; Homecoming.

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 Transparent Water CD/LP/Track Review Transparent Water
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Billows Of Blue CD/LP/Track Review Billows Of Blue
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Love Dance CD/LP/Track Review Love Dance
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Honest Woman CD/LP/Track Review Honest Woman
by James Nadal
Published: February 20, 2017
Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Final Concert CD/LP/Track Review The Final Concert
by John Sharpe
Published: February 19, 2017
Read "Sounds of 3" CD/LP/Track Review Sounds of 3
by Geno Thackara
Published: August 18, 2016
Read "Sanjay Divecha and Secret" CD/LP/Track Review Sanjay Divecha and Secret
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 2, 2016
Read "She Sleeps, She Sleeps" CD/LP/Track Review She Sleeps, She Sleeps
by John Eyles
Published: March 15, 2016
Read "Live At Zaal 100" CD/LP/Track Review Live At Zaal 100
by Mark Corroto
Published: April 21, 2016
Read "Roaring" CD/LP/Track Review Roaring
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 22, 2016
Read "Butterflies Fly in Pairs" CD/LP/Track Review Butterflies Fly in Pairs
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 22, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!