Thursday, May 04, 2017

John O'Gallagher Trio - Live In Brooklyn (Whirlwind, 2017)

Saxophonist John O'Gallager is joined by Johannes Weidenmueller on bass and Mark Ferber on drums, on this taut, well played album of mainstream jazz recorded live at Seeds::Brooklyn. The music is muscular and deeply felt, beginning with the opening tracks "Prime" and "Extralogical Railman" which begin with some mellow bass and drums giving the music a spacious and open feeling, as they probe the space around them. The drums begin to roll accompanied by weaving saxophone patiently allowing the music to develop to a louder intensity with a strong and immediate performance. This is a long sequence that unfolds gracefully with a dramatic downshift to music of quiet longing with a subtle bass solo. The drums and saxophone build back in, upgrading the volume and the speed of the improvisation, with ripe drumming underneath moving into a fine conclusion. "Credulous Intro" has solo saxophone painting the air with broad strokes before "Credulous" fully takes flight, opening into a ballad with gentle brushes and bass joining the leader's saxophone. Room opens for a supple bass solo with sympathetic percussion which are then joined by peals of saxophone cutting through open space, creating arcs of sound that grow in strength. The music increases in volume, ramping up from ballad to a strident trio section then to a powerful all-out improvisation with a very impressive drum solo breaking out and building a tight rhythm. There is a medium tempo sensibility to "Blood Ties" with O'Gallager channeling bebop in a bright and powerful solo amidst solid bass and drums. The trio develops an exciting level of intensity and interplay with a strong drum solo and fine collective finish. "Nothing to It" also establishes a comfortable medium tempo, moving ahead in leaps and bounds using their dynamism, bootstrapping into into fine solid mainstream jazz with rippling and muscular playing, and incorporating a nice bass solo with tapped percussion. The concluding track "The Honeycomb" strides forward confidently, developing a fast pace, building nimble, exciting and powerful stuff that finishes with a roaring climax to the improvisation, making a thrilling sendoff to a fine recording. Live in Brooklyn -

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