It is very difficult to innovate when playing in a classic jazz trio. The last big change was the democratization of the band's roles, but it happened around the turn of the 1950s and 1960s when Bill Evans invited Paul Motian and Scatt LaFaro to play together. Of course, there was then a free jazz revolution and Cecil Taylor's achievements that actually brought the trio music out of the jazz tradition, but it was rather a broadening of the definition of music itself than the transformation of the trio as such. The last change is the introduction of motorics taken from rock, but Hal Galper has gone a bit differently. It introduces rubato to the tradition of jazz pianism.
Rubato is precisely "shaky tempo", resulting not from the inability to keep the rhythm, but from deliberate departure from it. The basis here is the deliberate lengthening or shortening of individual sounds when performing compositions or improvisation. However, it requires the team to be extraordinarily harmonious, sensitive and vigilant so as not to get lost in these unsigned slows and accelerations. And Galper's trio - with bassist Jeff Johnson and drummer John Bishop - meets these conditions perfectly.
Sometimes they seem to play side by side - when the pianist plays rubato, the partners continue on fairly beaten tracks. This makes the song seem to be shifted, the parts of the individual instruments do not overlap each other perfectly. Most often this section is ahead of the pianist, but the idea of the piano being a melodic-harrmon avant-garde can also be realized here. This gives rise to large asynchronities and dissonances, surprising even for listeners best acquainted with individual compositions. This is even the case in Wayne Shorter's composition "Woldflower" where the turbulent part of the percussion is contrasted with the restraint Galper's piano. But it just generates emotions and tensions that spark directly in this music.
Excellent, full of grace, imagination, lightness and a new spirit mature and pianist's experience. I recommend it very much!