Jazz Drummer/Composer/Educator Towner Galaher To Perform at Puppets Jazz Bar on September 19 In Support of his Latest Release Courageous Hearts
Towner has done it again. He's managed to show off his drumming skills within his very melodic and swinging compositions. Towner is a triple threat. Great drummer, composer, and band leader. Great all-star cast." --Lenny White
Drawing primarily from the hard bop tradition, Galaher includes Brazilian, Afro-Cuban, New Orleans second line and Oakland funk, in the seven original tunes and his unique arrangement of Hot House" and high-energy version of Afro-Blue," for Courageous Hearts. This recording showcases Galaher's strength as a leader by bringing six gifted musicians together in a performance that lets everyone's talent shine while also unifying into a tight, cohesive sound.
His lineup is impressive, with participants including bassist Charles Fambrough (whose credits include work with Art Blakey, McCoy Tyner and Wynton Marsalis), pianist George Colligan (Cassandra Wilson, Ravi Coltrane, Robin Eubanks), trumpeter Brian Lynch (Blakey, Eddie Palmieri, Phil Woods), tenor saxophonist Craig Handy (Blakey, Herbie Hancock, Elvin Jones) and trombonist Fred Wesley (James Brown, Parliament, and Count Basie). Celebrated percussionists Gabriel Machado and Ze Mauricio guest on several tracks as well.
What impresses more is Galaher's willingness to share space equally with his colleagues; and, to everyone's collective credit, the intuitive communication achieved by these artists, who play as if they've been working as a unit for years even though some of them had never played together.
Galaher's vision for Courageous Hearts stems from his eclectic background as a drummer, composer and arranger. Since moving to NYC from the Pacific Northwest, he has worked with artists as diverse as Wynton Marsalis, former Louis Armstrong associate Arvel Shaw, jazz vocal scatmaster Jon Hendricks and Arturo O'Farill, leader of the Chico O'Farill Afro-Cuban Big Band.
Towner Galaher's debut CD, Panorama, introduced Towner's skills as a bandleader, composer, arranger and drummer with an impressive showing, reaching # 41 on the Jazz Week Chart and #34 on The CMJ Chart. The CD featured a mix of Jazz Veterans and Young Lions with Charles Fambrough on bass, Onaje Allen Gumbs - piano, Mark Shim - tenor, and Maurice Brown - trumpet, and special guest percussionists Johnny Almendra and Frank Colon.
His musical range grows from a solid academic foundation, as reflected by his Masters Degree in Jazz Performance from Queens College, his output as an author of performance textbooks and essays on jazz, Latin music and New Orleans R&B, and the praise that his work inspires from the highest levels of the jazz community.
That expectation is fulfilled on Courageous Hearts, which reached # 38 on the Jazz Week Chart and # 30 on the CMJ Chart."This is the result of persevering toward a dream I've had for many years, to make music of the highest integrity with the best players available," Galaher says. That's why I dedicate it to 'all those who hold fast to the dreams and aspirations of their youth throughout their lives, living true to themselves.'"
Towner Galaher at Puppets Jazz Bar Saturday, September 19 6:30-8pm
Towner Galaher - drums Ben Stuyvers - organ Duane Eubanks - trumpet Peter Brainin - tenor sax
Puppets Jazz Bar 481 5th ave (btwn 11th & 12th st) Park Slope Brooklyn, NY 11215 www.puppetsjazz.com
Towner has outdone himself this time. His writing, his arrangements and his playing, the whole thing from A to Z all has all the necessary components for a great jazz CD. Towner's music is seasoned with plenty of grit, soul, roots, blues Latin, New Orleans second line and straight ahead New York style jazz that swings hard. Courageous Hears features some of the best jazz musicians in the business and they mean business...All of the elements that I love are on this one. A must for any serious jazz listener." --Mike Clark, Drum Legend
Yeah, YEAH, THIS is how to make a great jazz album! Courageous Hearts practically explodes with many of the qualities that attracted me to jazz in the first place - swin/pulse/groove; a raw, aching/restless passion, unpredictability, and for lack of a better term, a cry," an almost primal, indefinable what is that reaches past the frontal love down to your (dare I say it) soul...Don't miss it." -- Mark Keresman, ICON Magazine
Slamming original material in a classic vein from drummer Galaher..." -- Zookeeper Online, KZSU-FM
'(Galaher's) compositions are in the middle of the main stream but with unexpected harmonic and rhythmic twists. Galaher's reworkings of Tad Dameron's Hot House" and Mongo Santamaria's Afro Blue" are ingenious. So, too, are his drum fills behind soloists.' -- Doug Ramsey, Rifftides