The Bob Gallo Quintet: Wake Up Call (2006)
Here's another quicksilver jazz guitarist with whom I've been unfamiliar. For years, Bob Gallo has provided music for TV's The Cosby Show and It's A Different World, as well as supporting Aretha Franklin. He has also appeared in the groups of Randy Brecker, Grover Washington Jr., Gerald Albright, Clark Terry, Dave Valentin and Jon Faddis. Gallo only has an obscure 1999 album on Cat's Paw (Windsong) to show for his troubles. You can currently hear the Gallo quintet on the Cosby animated series on Nickelodeon and on a CBS TV show, Little Bill.
Gallo starts out strongly on the fast-bopping title tune, "Wake Up Call," as well as "Calculated Risk," in which he trades lines with Alex Sipiagin's trumpet and Misha Tsaiganov's piano, showing no mercy and reminding me of guitarist Mark Elf's same facile capability.
While this is all very impressive playing and great stuff to see live in a a club, I was more impressed with Gallo's clean articulation and rounded tones on mid-tempo tunes like "You Bet" or ballads like "Dedication." (The pieces are all originals.) Both Tsiganov and Sipiagin acquit themselves nicely on their respective work on trumpet and piano, and Gallo displays a keen ability to simmer at a slower tempo.
Track Listing: Wake-Up Call; You Bet; Dedication; Commotion, Fat Tuesday; Reflections; Calculated Risk; Nightscape.
Personnel: Bob Gallo: guitar; Boris Kozlov: bass; Alex Sipiagin: trumpet; Misha Tsiganov: piano; Gene Jackson: drums.
Record Label: Self Produced