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Take Five With Rick Gallagher

AAJ Staff By

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Meet Rick Gallagher:

Jazz pianist, composer, arranger and teacher from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Over the years Rick has done solo and group work in a wide range of contemporary styles but has found a voice as a player and composer in classic jazz. Rick is a father of four.

Instrument(s):

piano.

Teachers and/or influences?

Teacher: David Budway

Influences:

Herbie Hancock, Wynton Kelly, Cyrus Chestnut, Bennie Green, George Shearing, Horace Silver, Red Garland, Bill Evans, Vince Guaraldi.

Your sound and approach to music:

I try to capture the things that I hear when I write. I try to stay melodic and organic.

Your dream band:

Paul Thompson, bass, and Thomas Wendt, drums.

Favorite venue:

1891 Fredonia Opera House, Fredonia, New York. I played a gig there with the Boilermaker Jazz Band. It is a restored opera house with great acoustics and a timeless vibe.

Your favorite recording in your discography and why?

Sugar Shack, new recording to be released in spring of 2007. It's my first original trio record, with the exception of percussion on two tracks.

What do you think is the most important thing you are contributing musically? I try to share myself and my experiences of my life through my music.

Desert Island picks:

Cyrus Chestnut—Soul Food (Atlantic, 2001);

Bennie Green—These are Soulful Days (Blue Note, 1999);

Take 6—Join the Band (Warner Alliance, 1994);

Sting—Ten Summoner's Tales (A&M, 1993).

How would you describe the state of jazz today?

Lots of fantastic musicians, but not much general public knowledge or interest in jazz.

What is in the near future?

New CD release, Sugar Shack, this spring 2007.

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