Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Hal Galper - 1977 - Now Near This

Hal Galper 
1977
Now Near This 



01. Now Hear This 8:19
02. Shadow Waltz 6:11
03. Mr. Fixit 5:02
04. First Song In The Day 9:02
05. Bemsha Swing 6:09
06. Red Eye Special 5:32

Bass – Cecil McBee
Drums – Tony Williams
Piano – Hal Galper
Trumpet, Flugelhorn – Terumasa Hino

Recorded February 15, 1977



Hal Galper has had a long, distinguished career as a jazz pianist, bandleader, composer and educator. While the pianist has made a flurry of recordings over the past few years, record labels are beginning to mine the wealth of material he produced during the '=1970s. Now Hear This was first issued by Enja in 1977 and subsequently reissued in its original form, though this edition sports a redesigned cover and a bonus track. Galper's inspired quartet includes trumpeter Terumasa Hino, bassist Cecil McBee and drummer Tony Williams. The title track, which was recorded by its composer with a different quintet during the same decade, benefits from the stripped-down quartet and a decent piano (something not available for the live Century LP Speak With a Single Voice (1978)and reissued as the Double Time CD Children of the Night).

"Now Hear This" is one of Galper's most infectious works, as the pianist launches into a furious solo, with Hino's contribution followed by Williams' simmering break. The playful "Red Eye Special" suggests a bit of McCoy Tyner's influence, punctuated by Hino's searing trumpet. Galper builds "First Song of the Day" upon a simple repeated riff, intermingling thunderous chords and lightning runs in his solo, while both Hino's and McBee's features are equally full of fire. This expanded reissue includes a previously unreleased alternate take of it, which is a bit shorter but no less intense than the master. In addition to Galper's five originals, he includes a sauntering, sassy interpretation of Thelonious Monk's "Bemsha Swing." This is easily one of Galper's best recordings of the 1970's.

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