All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

6

Chris Gall: Cosmic Playground

Don Phipps By

Sign in to view read count
It's easy to hear references to classical music in Chris Gall's style of jazz. After all, he is a trained classical pianist. And those who like a bit of Chopin with their jazz will certainly enjoy Cosmic Playground.

Gall's music also incorporates elements of rock and funk. Offering up strong melodic lines, Gall and his fellow musicians (Henning Sieverts on bass and brother Peter Gall on drums) intermix a confluence of styles on seven original tunes and two covers (the Lennon-McCartney tune "Across the Universe" and the traditional "Sea Lion Woman").

The music is straight ahead. No curves. The tunes stand on their own, and the improvised flourishes of the musical variations revolve above and below the primary themes and motifs. The music bristles with energy without being hurried or pushy. Rhythms are set and energized by Peter Gall's strong drumming. And even though some of the music has a languid feel, the music never lacks passion.

Take Gall's composition "Cosmic Playground," which rolls along like great road music. Or "Arthur Dent Knows," with its classically informed lines and controlled piano lines. Or "Across the Universe," where Gall adds chromatic flourishes on the piano and Sieverts supplies a sensitive poetic bass solo. In each of these pieces you hear classical underpinnings. Gall doesn't run from his background—he embraces it.

Gall includes two originals, "Drumsticks and Fingertips" and "Seven Beat Strut," that provide energetic funk and rock beats. Peter Gall is all over the trap set in the former, and in the latter, he and Sieverts propel the beat laid down in Chris Gall's left-hand chords and right-hand melodic flourishes.

"Gentle Snap" offers a syncopated melody and rhythm. The chromaticism of Chris Gall's melody is bolstered by his brother's excellent work on the hi-hat cymbals. The family affinity is also exhibited in "Hymn" and "Follow the Milky Way, Then Turn Left," where strong empathy between the brothers makes the music compelling.

Thoroughly enjoyable, Cosmic Playground provides tuneful and interesting compositions bolstered by engaging piano lines and supported by strong bass and drum contributions.

Track Listing: Cosmic Playground; Arthur Dent Knows; Sea Lion Woman; Across the Universe; Hymn; Follow the Milky Way, Then Turn Left; Gentle Snap; Drumsticks & Fingertips; Seven Beat Strut.

Personnel: Chris Gall: piano; Henning Sieverts: bass; Peter Gall: drums.

Title: Cosmic Playground | Year Released: 2018 | Record Label: GLM Music

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read Point Blank CD/LP/Track Review
Point Blank
by Chris May
Published: August 20, 2018
Read Tell Me The Truth CD/LP/Track Review
Tell Me The Truth
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: August 20, 2018
Read No One Is Alone CD/LP/Track Review
No One Is Alone
by Chris Mosey
Published: August 20, 2018
Read The Literature CD/LP/Track Review
The Literature
by Jerome Wilson
Published: August 20, 2018
Read Between the Silence CD/LP/Track Review
Between the Silence
by John Kelman
Published: August 19, 2018
Read Flying CD/LP/Track Review
Flying
by Troy Dostert
Published: August 19, 2018
Read "Songbook" CD/LP/Track Review Songbook
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: November 14, 2017
Read "Kavuma" CD/LP/Track Review Kavuma
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 12, 2018
Read "Locked & Loaded" CD/LP/Track Review Locked & Loaded
by John Kelman
Published: May 26, 2018
Read "How We Fall" CD/LP/Track Review How We Fall
by Mark Sullivan
Published: July 6, 2018
Read "Landfall" CD/LP/Track Review Landfall
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: January 14, 2018
Read "Lala Belu" CD/LP/Track Review Lala Belu
by Chris May
Published: March 23, 2018