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The Guerilla Band

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Album Review

While not one of the classics of the jazz fusion movement of the early '70s, The Guerilla Band does attempt to say something substantial and avoids the genre's commercial pitfalls.

Leader Hal Galper, who went on to become an acoustic pianist of note, is heard here exclusively on electric piano. His highly electronically processed sound is unlike the playing of the Fender Rhodes' more representative players from this era, such as Joe Zawinul or George Duke.

Galper's band includes brothers Mike (saxophone) and Randy Brecker (trumpet), who at this time were gaining critical acclaim with their band Dreams.Dreams' guitarist Bob Mann is also on board. Session player and Cannonball Adderley alumnus Victor Gaskin is on electric bass. Steve Haas and Charles Alias team up for a double dose of drums.

Galper writes long, impressionistic lines that are played over busy, skittering, rhythms – imagine Miles Davis's In a Silent Way merged with a funky, Isley Brothers' track. This approach could work, but the drums generally create more clutter than groove, while Mann's scratchy playing often gets in the way of the music (it would have been interesting to hear this same band with a John Abercrombie or a John Scofield wailing over the top of these tracks).

Misgivings aside, this band produces a distinctive brand of jazz fusion that deserves a place in any thorough documentation of the genre's short-lived, peak creative years.


Born: 18 April 1938 in Salem, MA

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s

An excellent if generally overlooked advanced hard bop pianist, Hal Galper studied at Berklee (1955-1958) and then worked in many groups, including with Chet Baker, Stan Getz, the Brecker Brothers, Bobby Hutcherson, and with such singers as Joe Williams, Chris Connor, and Anita O'Day. He played electric piano (an instrument he has since dropped) with the Cannonball Adderley Quintet during its last years (1973-1975) and spent time playing with Lee Konitz and John Scofield. Galper, who has recorded...
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The Guerilla Band, Hal Galper
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  • 5,94 €
  • Genres: Jazz, Music, Fusion
  • Released: 01 August 1971

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