...they have revealed a work of true artistic mastery, and generational significance. In many ways, it personifies the direction of jazz music into the 21st century, a mantle to be grasped and moved forward by generation next.
In his fifth decade as a major jazz artist, Hal Galper continues the innovation that has made him one of the most surprising and satisfying pianists alive. His 21st century series of albums for Origin over the last 12 years incorporates the elasticity of rubato performing as a means of melding melodic lyricism with the visceral rhythmic excitement of bebop. This eighth recording in the series highlights the deep musical bond of his trio, with bassist Jeff Johnson and drummer John Bishop, and their uncanny ability to slip into The Zone - where self awareness is abandoned and the music is allowed to control the proceedings. Performed in the inviting environs of the Yardbird Suite in Edmonton, Canada, it was months later that the recording from the soundboard was reviewed. Asking "Who is this piano player?," Galper recognized the music was coming from a deeper than conscious place and that documenting the trio deeply in "the zone," and in the wild, was necessary.
"...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. Israel 8:46
2. Kiwi 8:32
3. Cubist 7:16
4. Artist 11:10
5. Scene West 14:14
6. Scufflin' 7:23
7. Goodnite, Sweetheart, Goodnite 1:25
(1) by John Carisi
(2-5) by Jeff Johnson
(6) by Hal Galper
(7) by Calvin Carter & James Hudson
Produced by Hal Galper, Jeff Johnson & John Bishop
Recorded by Lisi Sommer, live at the Yardbird Suite, Edmonton, CA
November 26, 2016
Edited by Floyd Reitsma, Studio Litho, Seattle, WA
Mastered by Dan Dean, Mercer Island, WA
Photography by Alex Chaloff
Cover design & layout by John Bishop
Midwest Record (Chris Spector)
A geezer who could be forgiven for playing pretty as he thinks about checking out, label stalwart Galper is having none of that. Still a forward thinking piano man, he stands as one of the greats that could teach the young ‘uns a thing or two about turning out great jazz. The recording is so in the moment that when he listened to it a few month ...
Tom Hull: On the Web (Tom Hull)
Pianist, a good one, first side credit looks to be Chet Baker in 1964, 30+ albums since 1971, a few struck me as A-list, like his 2009 trio with Reggie Workman and Rashied Ali (Art-Work), and last year's album with Jerry Bergonzi (Cubist). This one, a trio with his label's resident rhythm section (Jeff Johnson and John Bishop), live from Edmonton i ...
All About Jazz (Dan McClenaghan)
4.5 STARS Pianist Hal Galper has rounded out a career spanning five decades with his stint at Origin Records, beginning with Furious Rubato (2007) and wrapping things up—or so it was rumored—with 2018's Cubist. Most of these are trio affairs featuring bassist Jeff Johnson and drummer John Bishop, with Cubist adding saxophonist Jerry Bergonzi t ...
JazzTimes (Mike Joyce)
It's not often that seasoned jazz musicians find one of their own recordings truly revelatory in hindsight. Yet here's a striking example. As acclaimed veteran pianist Hal Galper recalls in his CD liner notes, he had no intention of releasing this live 2016 trio session with bassist Jeff Johnson and drummer John Bishop until he heard a playback and ...
DownBeat (Suzanne Lorge)
4-STARS When pianist Hal Galper first heard the live recording that became The Zone: Live At The Yardbird Suite, he didn't recognize his own playing. On that November 2016 gig—at the eponymous club in Edmonton, Canada—"the music came from some place deeper," Galper wrote in the album's liner notes. The bandleader, who's a long way from his 197 ...
Jazz Weekly (George W Harris)
Piano legend Hal Galper shows his post bop chops in high quality form at this gig in Edmonton, Canada with his team of Jeff Johnson/b and John Bishop/dr. The Getz/Baker alumnus shows pristine and lovely work on the lyrical "Artist" while digging deep with the mates on the modal "Scufflin'". The three form a hip groove on "Israel" with Johnson givi ...
Multikulti Project (Poland) (Andrzej Majak)
4 1/2 STARS Jazz universe of Hal Galper, an American pianist (born in 1938) is a multigenerational family based on trust and the joy of making music together. Better known for his collaboration with Chet Baker, Stan Getz, Joe Williams, Anita O'Day and Chris Connor, a few years old member of the famous Cannonball Adderley Quintet and permanent m ...
All About Jazz (Feature) (Paul Rauch)
"What happens in the zone, stays in the zone." The career of Hal Galper has earned the pianist acclaim as both a performer and educator. Perhaps most importantly, it has drawn attention to his contributions to the music as a true innovator. While other pianists of his era gained more recognition, Galper sought out a career path where acclaim wou ...
JazzdaGama (Raul da Gama)
The action shifts here to Edmonton, Alberta, in Canada, to a venue called, appropriately The Yardbird Suite. It is a quieter venue and [also appropriately] Mr Galper begins the proceedings with a venerable interpretation of John Carisi's "Israel". It is clear from the outset that the venue is not as acoustically perfect as the musicians would have ...
Jazz Journal (UK) (Brian Morton)
Galper has had a fantastic run on Origin records, and indeed for years before that, but, unless I'm mistaken, rarely turns up on anyone's list of essential contemporary piano players. This November 2016 live date was made shortly after the Cubist sessions and the group was apparently beat and lagged when they went on. But, as Galper has said before ...