Hal Galper / Jeff Johnson / John Bishop

Furious Rubato

origin 82476

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MUSIC REVIEW BY Bill Barton, Coda

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The Harvard Dictionary of Music defines rubato as: "An elastic, flexible tempo involving slight accelerandos and ritordandos that alternate according to the requirements of musical expression." Pianist Hal Galper's liner notes elucidate quite eloquently his theories regarding rubato, parsing the basic pulse, "bending and shaping" the melody and harmony and ˝ as he emphasizes ˝ "Íyou have to swing whatever tempo you're playing either basic, subdivided or superimposed." The proof is in the pudding as the old clich╚ goes, and this CD swings in a complex circular fashion unlike anything else I've heard recently: freedom and form dance on a balance beam with no missteps. Two Miles Davis pieces ("Milestones" and "Miles Ahead"), Trane's "Naima," four Galper originals and a lovely introspective composition by bassist Johnson titled "Zen" are on the program. The opening "Milestones" sets the bar high in a bustling, multi-faceted interpretation. There are many highlights, including the aforementioned "Zen" and Galper's "Chromatic Fantasy." Bishop's drumming is unfailingly imaginative and fervid. If you think that there's nothing "new" or "original" to be heard in the piano-bass-drums trio format this CD will likely change your mind. This is fresh, invigorating music played with passion, soul, precision and razor-sharp intellect.






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