Live at the Berlin Philharmonic
is the double CD, recently released by the magical American pianist Hal Galper with his quintet.
It's fantastic that a label like Origin Records re-releases old recordings. Recordings that are timeless and sound unparalleled and contemporary even after more than 40 years. This is also the case with the 1977 concert Live at the Berlin Philharmonic
by the Hal Galper Quintet . Galper started playing classical piano as a child, but after discovering jazz, he studied at the Berklee College of Music. He worked with Chet Baker, Stan Getz and Anita O'Day, was a member of the Cannonball Adderley quintet and recorded LPs with John Scofield. In the eighties he was the regular accompanist of saxophonist Phil Woods for ten years. In 1971 Hal Galper recorded the album The Guerilla Band
(on which he played innovative Fender Rhodes) and Wildbird
a year later. Both LPs with the brothers Randy and Mike Brecker. In addition to these two jazz giants, double bassist Wayne Dockery and drummer Bob Moses play on the energetic double live album.
Hal Galper has that energy we also encounter with McCoy Tyner (also born in 1938). The firm left hand, which occasionally indicates the first beat with a powerful octave, which ends in rolling virtuoso solos with a masterful left hand. Sometimes with altered tones, rounded off with block chords and inventive passages. This recording contains five compositions by Galper and the classic "I'll Never Stop Loving You" for duo; piano and sax. Striking is the enormous energy that the music radiates. Short arranged themes, after which sax, flugelhorn, bass, drums and of course the grand piano are given the solo space. The nice thing about this is that Hal Galper often does not play during the beginning of a solo of the flugelhorn or sax. This gives them plenty of room to shine in truly masterful solos, superbly supported by the driving drum playing of Bob Moses and steaming walking bass from Wayne Dockery. This music is astonishing hard bop of the highest class. Five musicians provide two CDs full of musical fireworks, bangs, smoke and, shouts/applause: yes, it's still a live recording on which you luckily hear the audience.