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 member of the Phil Woods Quintet is also a full-time leader. He has never known the fame of the jazz stars he collaborated with, but he doesn't care too much about it. His latest albums, released under the colors of Origin Records from Seattle, show a brilliant pianist and consummate leader. I remember reading Sam Rivers' album "A New Conception" (1966, Blue Note) a long time ago, where Galper found himself so perfectly, I knew I was dealing with a heavyweight fighter!
The newest live recording of "THE ZONE: LIVE AT THE YARDBIRD SUITE" only confirms my opinion. Four compositions of the band's bassist - Jeff Johnson and one each by Hal Galper, John Carisi and Calvin Carter / James Hudson are arranged in a transparent, full of vigor and jazz interaction that engages the story, seasoned in a joint spontaneous music making of jazzmen. Hal Galper is an ambassador of rubato in the world of jazz pianists. Rubato is precisely a "pace instability", resulting not from the inability to keep the rhythm, but from intentionally departing from it. The basis here is the deliberate lengthening or shortening of individual sounds when performing a composition or improvisation. However, it requires from the team extraordinary coordination, sensitivity and vigilance, so as not to get lost in these unsigned slows and accelerations.
You can listen to this album as a collection of "golden notes", "winged phrases" of which there are countless, you can listen to a dramatically thought-out jazz performance, you can finally admire the noble simplicity of the jazz language. We will feel deep satisfaction each time. Is it not enough? Hal Galper with two significantly younger instrumentalists, with whom he has been playing for almost a decade, have been forming one organism, their music rooted in the language of jazz from the last century, is something like the sum of the jazz experiences of the 20th century.
"THE ZONE: LIVE AT THE YARDBIRD SUITE" is the essence of the beauty of jazz, great solos of excellent instrumentalists, without unnecessary stardom and unnecessary scuffles, unpretentious playing, great musical understanding and great experience. Simple music, nothing revealing, but there is so much life here that many jazz bands could share it.
Translated from Polish