Live in Brooklyn captures the spirit of the chordless trio’s appearance as part of Seeds Brooklyn’s intimate, weekly concert series – a popular venue for many leading contemporary artists – with realism and verve. And having forged a close, intuitive working relationship over several years, this became the perfect environment in which to unveil new material alongside interpretations of two tracks from their studio album 'The Honeycomb' (the saxophonist has also previously released on Whirlwind, with 2013’s The Anton Webern Project). The realization and 'stretch and pull' of the original compositions in this conducive setting, during the gig and in playback, confirmed to O’Gallagher that this was the one – and now the wider public have the fortuity to focus on this rich seam of in-the-moment creativity.
Oblique five-against-seven-meter experiment ‘Prime’ sets up an increasingly turbulent dialogue, O’Gallagher’s forceful, rippling lines prompting heavyweight, percussive reactions from bassist and drummer; and ‘Blood Ties’ alludes to the band’s prowess in intertwining the number’s purely rhythmic beginnings with various pitch collections. The broad landscape of ‘Credulous’ prompts extreme displays, especially from saxophonist and drummer; and furtive ‘Nothing To It’ finds its animation through the close connection between Weidenmueller and Ferber.
‘Extralogical Railman’ – an anagram in both composition and title – turns Charlie Parker’s ‘Relaxin’ at Camarillo’ upside down, O’Gallagher carefully spinning the rhythmic content on its axis, then reassembling re-pitched melodics against it… and it swings with glorious abandon, the saxophonist’s lines incessantly searching, screeching and tumbling through “a number you know, but can’t put your finger on.” Finally, ‘The Honeycomb’, specifically originating from common links and patterns between tones, lets rip for an appreciative audience.
Describing the elevated, exposed nature of this three-way partnership, O’Gallagher concludes: “We are constantly listening and taking risks, creating an atmosphere which is exciting to play in – there is no 'wrong', and we all know the paths back. A shared trust provides the confidence to pretty much explore any avenue and be assured that everything will be OK. That transformative, on-the-edge excitement – not knowing what’s gonna happen – is what I’ve always wanted.”
★★★★ The Guardian
"The music intuitively blurs the boundaries between composition and improvisation and between freedom and structure... Absorbing and rewarding... A monster player... he’s certainly in fine form here and is well supported by an empathic and impressive rhythm team."
The Jazz Mann
"John O'Gallagher has a rather individual earmark to his playing... Some of his finest work to date."
“Live recording of a great concert... It’s as if you were there.”
Culture Jazz (FR)
"There is nothing quite like the environment of a live gig to bring out the best in the musicians and this set is no exception."
★★★★★ UK Vibe
1. Prime 10:24
2. Extralogical Rainman 06:15
3. Credulous (Intro) 02:50
4. Credulous 10:45
5. Blood Ties 06:37
6. Nothing To It 06:34
7. The Honeycomb 06:14
Johannes Weidenmueller - double bass
Mark Ferber - drums