From the Reviews:
"Pianist Sal Mosca performs a duo recording with saxophonist Jimmy Halperin that is chilling in intensity and artistry." --Rick Marx, Jazz Central Station.
"COMPELLING." Star Rating: 3 1/2 out of 4 stars. --1999 Penguin Guide To Jazz on CD.
Comment made by tenor saxophonist Mark Turner, quoted on Jazz Central Station: "Turner recommends 'Psalm,' a duet recording with Mosca and tenor man Jimmy Halperin. 'It's The Shit!' Turner says (the highest compliment one can give.)"
"A real find, a new recording by a contemporary piano master and a little-known tenor saxophonist in a superb performance in the chamber jazz category....A work of complex texture....There's much beauty to be found. Halperin possesses a fuller, richer tone than Warne Marsh or Lee Konitz in earlier periods, and his soaring flights combine with Mosca's subtle explorations to form a duet that is lyrical, rhapsodic, and filled with seemingly endless associations and echoes " --Lou Kannenstine, Green Mountain Jazz Messenger
Made in January 1997, this recording is a recent example of the virtuoso jazz improvisation of pianist Sal Mosca. Sal Mosca was a student of the great improviser and teacher Lennie Tristano. Jimmy Halperin also studied with Lennie Tristano, then later with Warne Marsh and Sal Mosca. Jimmy's music should be heard by any serious appreciator of jazz improvisation.
From the Liner Notes to Psalm:
A head full of music.
Hands full of music.
A heart full of music.
With these words Sal Mosca introduces the long-overdue release of Jimmy Halperin's first CD under his own name. This CD is a remarkable musical collaboration between Jimmy and Sal, and presents seven extraordinary jazz lines written by Jimmy. I think it is safe to say that these ingenious lines are unlike anything previously written on the chord changes of standard tunes, and their release on CD is a significant jazz event. Jimmy Halperin's music has been better known in Europe, especially Holland, than in his native USA. He has travelled to Europe regularly to perform since 1976. The music on this CD brings Jimmy's improvisational depth and unsurpassed tenor saxophone musicianship to the attention of a wider audience.
Sal Mosca took special interest in Jimmy's lines from the time he wrote them, and had been working on them on his own for years prior to this recording. Sal reharmonized the lines and developed a rubato style for playing them. Jimmy was enthusiastic about Sal's feeling and he decided to use rubato style for this recording. Sal also contributed the idea of recording the music in one uninterrupted CD-length session, in which the seven lines are played in succession, punctuated by brief free jazz interludes, followed by improvisation on each line, also separated by free jazz interludes.
This music speaks for itself, but here are a few words for the uninitiated listener. While the free jazz interludes and portions of the lines themselves are played out of time, the periods of improvisation on the lines are played in time, but rubato. Because both Sal and Jimmy have unusually developed time it may sometimes seem as if they are disregarding the pulse. To hear their music that way would be to misunderstand it significantly. Sal's solos, especially, may at times appear frankly free, played ad lib without regard for the pulse. In fact, the pulse is constant and there is no straying from the underlying melody and bar structure of each tune. Sophisticated musicians have been fooled by this aspect of Sal Mosca's music. Sal's improvisational ability is profound, and much study of a Sal Mosca solo is required in order to be able to tap each beat of each bar and know where he is in the tune. As Jimmy puts it, "Sal is definitely the most far-out musician." I believe Jimmy Halperin is one of only a few musicians who could play with Sal in a duet, without benefit of a rhythm section, and allow him to stretch-out. Jimmy can do this because, as Sal says, "Jim's ears are big and his palette cosmic."
This exciting CD will hopefully be the first of many releases of the music of Jimmy Halperin.
--Jon Easton, Producer
NOTE: The CD will not pause between sections. This music was recorded in one uninterrupted session. The numbers next to each section refer to digital markers that have been placed on the CD at the beginning of each of the lines (#2-8) and at the beginning of each improvisation on each line (#9-14). The free jazz interludes that occur between each tune have not been marked. These markers were placed for the convenience of listeners who may wish to skip easily to specific sections of the music. No editing has been done on the original tape.