5-Stars...a work of true artistic mastery, and generational significance.
With his focus on 'the art of the trio' since moving on from the Phil Woods Quintet in the late '80s - the last decade incorporating his innovative development of trio 'Rubato' playing into 7 albums on Origin Records - pianist Hal Galper made a major, personal musical statement in adding his old friend and saxophone titan Jerry Bergonzi to a late 2016 tour and live recording. Diving into the 'Rubato' deep end with the trio, Bergonzi provided another dimension and an added spark, opening unforeseen avenues to the trio and quickly becoming an integral part of Galper's musical concepts. Thus, the Hal Galper Quartet, featuring Jerry Bergonzi! Recorded at Cleveland's Tri-C, Tommy LiPuma Center for Creative Arts, the quartet recorded live in an open session format with a small but involved audience. Bassist Jeff Johnson contributed much of the music for the tour and four of the tracks for the recording. His composition "Cubist," provided the implied visual of a subject with many parts out of place or overly-dramatized, offering new perspectives on a familiar image, and a fine metaphor for the music. "...a moment of thrilling uncertainty, slightly airborne and stretched out in unusual shapes and motions, and (the moment extended) out for the length of a song, each and every time." - Wondering Sound.
1 SOLAR 5:50 Miles Davis
2 ISRAEL 9:06 John Carisi
3 ARTISTS 5:20 Jeff Johnson
4 KIWI 11:28 Jeff Johnson
5 CUBIST 8:06 Jeff Johnson
6 SCENE WEST 12:57 Jeff Johnson
7 IN A SENTIMENTAL MOOD 7:27 Duke Ellington
8 SCUFFLIN' 8:29 Hal Galper
Produced by Hal Galper, Jeff Johnson, John Bishop
Recorded by Kevin Baylon
at the Tommy LiPuma Center for Creative Arts,
Tri-C, Cleveland, OH on October 14, 2016
Mixed by Floyd Reitsma at Studio Litho, Seattle, WA
Mastered by Dan Dean at DDP Productions, Mercer Island, WA
Painting by Clive Watts
Photo by Jeff Forman
Cover design & layout by John Bishop
All About Jazz (Paul Rauch)
5-STARS Hal Galper has been in the jazz limelight now for over a half century, establishing his trademark sound in more traditional settings with alto saxophone luminaries Cannonball Adderly, and Phil Woods, and trumpet legend Chet Baker. Yet in the new century, Galper has turned the piano trio concept on its collective ear, something that ha ...
All About Jazz (Dan McClenaghan)
4 1/2-STARS Count pianist Hal Galper as another veteran rising like the brightest of stars into a compelling late career zenith. An alumni of saxophone great Phil Woods' 1980s group, Galper found his inspiration of late with an exploration of the Rubato Style of playing, with its flexible approach to tempo and the disassembling of melodies and put ...
Midwest Record (Chris Spector)
How do you make this trio better? Add Jerry Bergonzi and record them live and in the moment. You think it's going to be sitting down jazz but once the percolator starts perking, you just can't turn it off. A tease and a surprise, this is jazz that engages you and keeps you on board to hear what's coming next. Pros that deliver the goods, this ...
Bar D2 Jazz (Japan) (Editor)
Translated from Japanese: In Friday of last week, it is said from customers "Why do not you listen to Hal Galper's new score?", I am ordering to Amazon yet I have not received it yet, but I really wanted to ask "Do you want me?". I immediately pressed the play button. Bergonzi felt a little customer-oriented, but this is also wonderful. After l ...
KZSU, 90.1, Stanford, CA (Tom McCarter)
Galper is back with his trio in top form, & invited saxophonist Jerry Bergonzi into the fold. It was an inspired addition to the sound. Bergonzi is one of those distinctively daring players who doesn't get the recognition he deserves. He can be fierce; his tone is muscular. In the trio's ruminations and maelstroms he can sound like the voice of rea ...
WTJU - Richmond (Dave Rogers)
If like me, you are unfamiliar with the term, "tempo rubato (free in the presentation, Italian for: stolen time) is a musical term referring to expressive and rhythmic freedom by a slight speeding up and then slowing down of the tempo of a piece at the discretion of the soloist or the conductor." (wikipedia.org) This is the significant style being ...
Cadence (Robert Rusch)
HAL GALPER quartet: CUBIST [Origin 82751] is a wonderful record. Made all the more wonderful by Jerry Bergonzi [ts], Jeff Johnson [b] and John Bishop [drm] on this recording of 10/14/16. The program consists of 8 tracks [69:09], a mix of Galper and Johnson originals plus a couple of standards. That these are actual tunes really is secondary to the ...
Jazz Trail (Filipe Freitas)
Despite having recorded with names such as John Scofield, Michael and Randy Brecker, Cannonball Adderley, and Lee Konitz, it's very seldom to see the name of Hal Galper on lists of top-notch jazz pianists. However, he proves people wrong through a bunch of phenomenal albums released in an exciting career spanning fifty years. On his most recent ...
New York City Jazz Record (Jim Motavalli)
The Cubist movement, led by Pablo Picasso, came out of Paris in the 1910s-20s and rendered the human form as a series of jagged geometric forms. The rubato approach taken by pianist Hal Galper, who turns 80 this month, on his new album embraces similar liberties. Cubist was recorded live before a studio audience at the Gill and Tommy LiPuma Center ...
Jazz Weekly (George W. Harris)
One of the un-heralded giants of jazz, pianist Hal Galper displays style, class and the taste that only comes from years of being on the scene. He brings up fellow vet Jerry Bergonzi/ts along with the supple support of Jeff Johnson/b and John Bishop/dr for a mix of standards and originals. Of the latter, the team stretches out on Johnson's own "Sce ...
Rifftides (Doug Ramsey)
In his album notes, pianist Galper writes that he was unaware of what "an interesting and unique composer" his longtime bass-playing associate Jeff Johnson is. The three pieces that Johnson contributed to Cubist leave no doubt about his writing ability. The title tune plus "Kiwi," "Artists" and "Scene West" give Galper, Johnson and drummer John Bis ...