The album takes its name from a snake from mostly in sub-Saharan Africa. The snake only bites when backed into a corner and its fangs contain a deadly poison. There's nothing poisonous about Halley's music. "Northern Plains" opens with the younger Halley (Rich's son) playing Native American rhythms on his drum kit that leads to a melody that blends traditional elements of Native American melody with blues. After a powerful tenor solo over the thunderous drums, the band drops into a rhythm with its roots in the hard bop of Art Blakey.
Rich Halley has always been one to create his own trail through the vast landscape of creative music. One should not be surprised by the funky beat throughout the raucous "The Lean" and the fiery tempos pushing "The Converse" into the audio stratosphere. The energetic music and exciting solos that fill the tracks on "Boomslang" make you sit up and take notice! Kudos to all involved.
For more information, go to www.richhalley.com.
Here's the opening track:
|Photo: Caroline Conejero|
"Slick" ends on a sweet note with an uptempo but not fast performance of Allie Wrubel & Herb Magidson's "The Masquerade is Over". Hempton's alto solo has a bluesy, playful, feel while Bernstein takes off from the melody without ever losing sight of it. Koehler digs right in cruising atop the easy swing of the drums. It's the perfect close to a pleasing set of music. Nick Hempton creates music whose goal is to make you happy, entertain you, and take your mind off of the world outside your door. Nothing wrong with that at all!
For more information, go to https://nickhemptonband.com/.
Here's the album opener: