When scoring and performing music for The Cosby Show and other TV shows, guitarist Bob Gallo projected a mild musical persona. But with this assertive Wake-Up Call, the antithesis of that notion, the guitarist unleashes his nearly mind-boggling chops.
On this studio session Gallo sports a debonair jazz demeanor, coupled with flashy dynamics and a speed-demon modus operandi that yields impressive results. Whether performing complex bop motifs or soft ballads, the artist excels when reformulating the respective melody line. He swaps vicious fours with trumpeter Alex Sipiagin and pianist Misha Tsiganov on the up-tempo opener and title track. But Gallo's tender side surfaces on the gently stated, samba-shaded "Dedication.
Nonetheless, the players in the quintet effectively intermingle the overall rhythmic quotient, complete with the soloists' sinuously engineered unison lines and torrid soloing spots. One highlight: Tsiganov's trickling notes during "Calculated Risk, where the band incorporates hard bop choruses into a sprightly, loose groove workout. In sum, Gallo's muse combines enviable technical faculties with a lean, mean fighting machine of a band.