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. – Scott Yanowmore »
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