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Michael Galasso: High Lines (2005)

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Michael Galasso: High Lines How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

Making records is a secondary occupation for Michael Galasso. There is a gap of twenty years between his two albums for ECM, but that's not to say that he was languishing in vacuity. Far from it. Galasso was making his imprint in movies through composing, including the score for the acclaimed In The Mood For Love, and lending his voice to animated characters. Oh yes, he also worked with Pierre Boulez and Yo-Yo Ma. He finally took some time out to record High Lines, a confluence of the many influences that music has had on him.

Galasso builds the atmospheric pressure right of the bass and percussion on "Spheric." The conversation between Marc Marder and Frank Colón entices the listener into the wail and feedback of Terje Rydal's guitar and its searing trajectory, with Galasso placing the emollient on top. Atmosphere is more stark in its evidence on the aptly titled "Fog and After." Rypdal gets his guitar to speak in several tongues, the shuddering, bent strings rising in lonely cry, the feedback heavy but never stifling, the happy ringing tones that bring in a dancing ray of light. All of this while the percussion provides a swaying rhythmic base and Galasso, at first tempering the heat with some quick gliding notes, gets into the turmoil to add his own incendiary swipes.

Strains of classical music are woven into a sparkling tapestry on "Quarantine" through the bowing of Marder and the deep and lush tonality that Galasso draws from the violin to inject the melody with radiant hue; the final part locks in the lure coming from Colón, whose rhythmic motifs splash across the cymbals and incite quick rolls off the bass drum.


Track Listing: Spheric; Caravenserai Day; Never More; The Other; Gothic Beach; Quarantine; Crossing Colors; Chaconne; Boreal; High Lines; Caravenserai Night; Swan Pond; Iranian Dream; Fog and After; Somnambulist; Gorge Green

Personnel: Michael Galasso--violin; Terje Rypdal--guitar; Frank Coln--percussion; Marc Marder--double bass

Record Label: ECM Records


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