John O'Gallagher: Line of Sight & Rules of Invisibility, Vol. 2

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John O'Gallagher
Line of Sight
Fresh Sound-New Talent

Comparison can be useful in a review. In the case of John O'Gallagher's Line of Sight, there was something familiar, composition-wise, I just couldn't put my finger on.

My first point of reference was Herbie Hancock's Maiden Voyage so I listened to the two albums back to back. The fact that O'Gallagher's music can be played in the company of such classics says quite a lot. There is a similar vibe in the way the tunes swell and flex, but O'Gallagher is hardly ripping anybody off (a lot of artistic inspiration flows from the same source, anyhow). Other influences also seemed apparent, Lee Konitz and Ornette Coleman amongst them. O'Gallagher is a powerful alto and tenor sax man and he interacts well with Tony Malaby (tenor and soprano saxophones). The two stake out ample solo territory within the leader's eight original compositions without getting in each other's way or devolving into cutting sessions. John Herbert (bass) and Jeff Williams (drums) are both excellent as well.

John O'Gallagher
Rules of Invisibility, Vol. 2

Rules of Invisibility Volume 2, O'Gallagher's latest release, is the second half of a session he did for CIMP last year. The session has the reedman accompanied by Masa Kamaguchi (bass) and Jay Rosen (drums), with material consisting largely of post-post bop interpretations of standards through which the trio smoothly sails. Kamaguchi's a fine bassist, keeping the other two grounded throughout the record. Rosen really stands out and his share of extended four-trading on the 16-minute-plus "Later Bird was especially impressive.

The three adapt well to CIMP's bare-knuckled recording technique (two tracks, no technical safety nets), as O'Gallagher's playing has a stripped down, rootsy sound, which doesn't need much studio fiddling. The saxophonist's solo piece, "Olo's , shows the power and control of someone who has spent years honing his craft and his contribution to the liner notes (an excerpt from William Blake's "Milton ) sums the record up nicely: "...Creating form & beauty around the dark regions of sorrow.

Line of Sight


1 Cubist O'Gallagher 7:59, 2 Unmode O'Gallagher 6:39, 3 Leona O'Gallagher 5:53, 4 Effluence O'Gallagher 8:43, 5 Revolving Doors O'Gallagher 4:19, 6 DNA O'Gallagher 6:10, 7 Cascade O'Gallagher 7:37, 8 Rare Views O'Gallagher 3:19


John Hebert Bass, Tony Malaby Tenor, Soprano Sax, John O'Gallagher Alto, Soprano Sax, Jeff Williams Drums

Rules of Invisibility, Vol. 2

Bouncin' Billie (take 1), Later, Bird, Don't Move, Borneo, Olo's, Together, Post Adriatic Sea, Premonition, Bouncin' Billie (take 2).


John O'Gallagher alto sax, Masa Kamaguchi bass, Jay Rosen drums

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