Pianist Hal Galper's interpretations of eight familiar standards on this trio set with bassist Ray Drummond and drummer Billy Hart are consistently surprising and unpredictable. "Giant Steps" is treated as a sensitive out-of-tempo ballad, "What Is This Thing Called Love" begins with abstract chordings over a riff reminiscent of "Manteca" before the trio launches into a very fast tempo, "If I Didn't Care" is given a melancholy countermelody and "Azure" is made funky. In addiition "I Should Care" and "I'll Be Seeing You" (which are usually dramatic ballads) swing hard. By using the past to create new music, Hal Galper has developed fresh angles to old tunes, and the music on his CD has more than its share of successful surprises.
Features the latest remastering and an original cover artwork. Includes a description written in Japanese and bonus track(s). The Brecker Brothers (tenor saxophonist Mike and trumpeter Randy) join pianist Hal Galper, bassist Wayne Dockery, and drummer Bob Moses for a set of high-quality modern hard bebop. The Breckers spent much of the 1970s in the studios, so this LP (not yet reissued on CD) gave one a rare opportunity to hear them during the era playing in a noncommercial setting.
Reissue with the latest remastering. Features original cover artwork. Comes with a descripton in Japanese. Dizzy Gillespie meets the Phil Woods Quintet – a group that already has a great trumpeter in the form of Tom Harrell – which makes the album here a double-horn delight! Dizzy's on trumpet throughout, and Harrell plays both trumpet and flugelhorn – and the pair work well with Woods' alto in the front line, sharing back and forth, and creating a lively interplay between the different voices of their instruments. Dizzy is impeccable – as he always is at this point in his career – and rhythms are nice and tight, thanks to piano from Hal Galper, bass from Steve Gilmore, and drums from Bill Goodwin. Titles include a great reading of Galper's Loose Change" – plus "Terrestris", "Love For Sale", "Oon Ga Wa", and "Whasidishean".
For this 1990 set by Phil Woods' Quintet, the altoist welcomed trombonist Hal Crook to his group, joining several longtime members: pianist Hal Galper, bassist Steve Gilmore and drummer Bill Goodwin. Galper's melancholy ballad "Gotham Serenade" and Crook's modal blues "Ixtlan" on this CD contrast with Woods' three originals: "All Bird's Children," the upbeat "My Man Benny" (for Benny Carter) and an enthusiastic "Ole Dude." The quintet's treatments of three standards (all arranged by Crook) practically disguise the tunes, and a particular highlight is the group's version of Benny Carter's "Just a Mood," which pits Woods' clarinet with Crook's wah-wah trombone. A highly enjoyable outing.
This was one of the great touring and recording bands of the 1980s, Harrell and Woods inspiring each other and the rhythm section inquiring and swinging. Woods didn't need to change anything about his own style, but it blossoms anew in counterpoint with Harrell's lyrical fire, and each album is handsomely programmed and delivered … Flash, the final album with Harrell (who has since been replaced by Hal Crook as the front-line horn), has the edge of some outstanding composing by the trumpeter – "Weaver" and "Rado" are particularly sound vehicles – and Crook's extra tones on a few tracks.
A student and younger contemporary of Domenico Scarlatti on the Iberian peninsula, Portuguese composer Carlos de Seixas (1704-1742) wrote harpsichord sonatas in much the same vein as his teacher. Since precise dates for the compositions of either composer are hard to come by, it is even possible that the student might have influenced the teacher in some ways. His sonatas here don't harness the differentiation of texture to the new possibilities of harmonic rhythm in quite the precise ways that Scarlatti's do, and the multimovement structure of many of the sonatas makes them a little diffuse as compared with Scarlatti's.
French pianist Sebastien Paindestre—last heard on the French/American quartet Atlantico's En Rouge (La Fabrica'son, 2016)—leads his own trio in a mostly-original program. The liner notes credit a Fender Rhodes technician, and the opener "Scottish Folk Song" (by Walt Weiskopf) shows why. After introducing the tune on acoustic piano with double bassist Jean-Claude Oleksiak and drummer Antoine Paganotti (with the pastoral sound promised by the title) the Rhodes makes a dramatic entry with a distorted, highly electronic sound. It's very distinctive, almost like a synthesizer rather than a piano, and it brings out an aggressive side to Paindestre's soloing. The instrument performs a similar function on the third track, "Gaza-Paris-Jerusalem (For Peace)." There it is used both as a solo voice and as the voice of conflict during a brief unsettled section. The Beatles tune "Mother Nature's Son" gets a memorable jazz treatment next. The Rhodes is used to play the head, this time with a more conventional celeste-like bell sound. Bassist Oleksiak also gets a nice solo showcase.
This CD represents one venerable pianist paying tribute to another: Sir Roland Hanna and his fine trio playing compositions by, associated with, or written for John Lewis, the musical director of the Modern Jazz Quartet for all of its life. Lewis was admired for his distinctive bop playing and his creative involvement with one of the greatest groups in jazz history, but only one of his originals has become a standard: the immortal "Django," rendered here in an elegant arrangement that alternates between somber and swinging.