Hal Galper

Live at the Berlin Philharmonic, 1977

origin 82810

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MUSIC REVIEW BY Raul da Gama, JazzdaGama

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There can hardly be a better occasion to celebrate the unfettered energy of "live" music than this 1977 performance of the Hal Galper Quintet. In fact, it would never be hyperbolic to suggest that it stands out as one of the greatest "live" performances by a group of musicians...ever. It is dark - beautifully so - and the music takes you to another world altogether. It is a world full of mysterious depths, expectations, doubts, and hopes. It is evocative of the shattered shadows full of elemental energy as if conceived in power, pain, and joy, as if by the wave of a mystical wand.

Realizing that they are now on stage in what appear to be miraculous circumstances the ensemble uncorks the proverbial genies from their respective bottles. The result is a group of great musicians literally dancing with genius. Mr Galper is the master of mood and atmosphere, with the ability to coordinate colour and structure to a rare degree in the depth of characterization of the music and using the exceptional range and refinement of his pianism. It's all that was needed to cue the rest of the cast to give free reign - each to his own special artistry. And just as nothing could go wrong being in the company of trumpeter Randy Brecker and his legendary tenor saxophone-playing brother, Michael, there could be no better rhythmic coupling than with the great contrabassist Wayne Dockery and the mystical drumming of Bob Moses either.

The set is an hour and a half long and the energy and invention is palpable throughout. Solo excursions are long but riveting. The music is interpreted throughout with matchless urbanity and lyricism. Michael Brecker's playing is a constant reminder why his musicianship is sorely missed as he plays with buoyant, aristocratic grace and almost insolent and debonair virtuosity. But when he chooses to let his feelings take over the effect is brilliantly seductive as on the ballad "I Will Never Stop Loving You". Randy Brecker's infectious and brazen fire is also evident throughout. The rumbling gravitas of Mr Dockery and the rolling thunder of Mr Moses completes this ravishingly beautiful album. The ensemble bows out on disc two] with the rambunctious "Hey Fool". In a further master stroke, all of this is miraculously captured [with inspired mastering by Dan Dean] on a disc to absolutely die for...








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