"Live" is the operative word of Hal Galper Quintet's Live At The Berlin Philharmonic, 1977
. No matter what track you choose, the results are the same—exhilarating. Pianist Galper's dazzling runs are often complemented by his punchy pointillism, and this is particularly engrossing on "I'll Never Stop Loving You." Galper alone is stunning enough, but add Michael and Randy Brecker and you have the coup de grace; the brothers are never more blistering than on "This Is the Thing" or "Now Hear This." A live audience punctuates the recording and the wish to be there is answered with videos of at least two of the tunes. Randy's facial expressions, his trumpet hanging loosely, mirrors his brothers' double-time sprints on tenor saxophone with bassist Wayne Dockery racing along, matching the furious passages. Each track has separate showcase moments for the quintet. Sometimes it's brilliantly cast intimation by Galper or a probe of harmonic inventions by Randy, or, most engaging, a stem-winding coda from Michael that is like a reference to every legendary performer on the horn, including John Coltrane and Sonny Rollins. Another highlight is the long drum solo by Bob Moses, which, in many respects, is a rhythmic schematic of this powerful album.