Hal Galper

Live at the Berlin Philharmonic, 1977

origin 82810

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MUSIC REVIEW BY Jack Kenny, Jazz Views (UK)

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Strange to think that the music on this album was recorded forty-four years ago. It does not seem like that: it has a freshness and immediacy. Pianist Hal Galper played for three years with Chet Baker. He also had a spell with Cannonball Adderley and Phil Woods. The group on this album was probably his most successful and most artistically satisfying. Galper's exciting technique of quickening or slackening the rhythm, usually without altering the overall pace, was one of his defining features and there are examples here.

However, there are other revelations. Bob Moses is an underrated drummer. He has played with Gary Burton, Carla Bley ( on 'A Genuine Tong Funeral'), Mike Gibbs, Stan Getz and Dave Liebman. Moses does not pound the drums but manages to extract tone colours. He sounds intriguing, with his polystylic influences, taken from other cultures while maintaining the jazz pulse. His book on drumming 'Drum Wisdom', together with his teaching, has influenced many drummers. It is worth listening to some of the tracks just to concentrate on the work of Moses. His main solo is on 'This is the Thing'. He powers and interprets the churchy rhythm on Cannonball Adderley's 'Holy Fool'.

Wayne Dockery teams well with Moses. The way that they accompany Galper. On 'Triple Play' is memorable. Dockery gets a chance to make himself heard on 'Speak With A Single Voice'. You sense what a joy it must have been for Galper to play with Moses and Dockery with the duo at full stretch.

Randy Brecker is fluent and his notes glide and cohere into pleasing shapes without being particularly memorable. He just escapes from the danger of being bland. However, when called on, he contributes to the excitement.

The best track on the double album was not recorded in 1977 but at the same venue in 1978. Mike Brecker playing 'I'll Never Stop Loving You' is spellbinding. Brecker's tone has clarity and his extraordinary melodic invention is present throughout. This is one of those moments when for a soloist everything comes together. You hope that the four-minute cadenza at the end of the piece continues because clearly he is exploring some kind of rapture. Nothing else on the two CDs comes close.

This is a very satisfying album with music for pleasure that is exciting and driving. No one in the group is coasting; they set out to push the post-bop genre to its limits.








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