John O'Gallagher Trio: Live In Brooklyn

Roger Farbey By

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John O'Gallagher Trio: Live In Brooklyn
Over the past 25 years, altoist and New York resident, John O'Gallagher has worked with the likes of Joe Henderson, Maria Schneider, Kenny Wheeler, Billy Hart and Chris Cheek amongst many others. German born but long-time New Yorker bassist Johannes Weidenmueller has played with the Hank Jones trio, the John Abercrombie quartet, Joe Lovano and many others. Born in California, in-demand drummer Mark Ferber has worked with Lee Konitz, Don Byron, Fred Hersch, Norah Jones and Steve Swallow to name but a few.

Live In Brooklyn captures this trio's performance at the popular New York venue, Seeds, on November 11, 2015. From the off, the opener "Prime" is a clear indicator of how this chordless trio works. Two of the numbers performed here are from the trio's 2015 studio album The Honeycomb, "Extralogical Railman" and the record's title track, both of which have been given a fresh interpretation.

As an alto saxophone-led group, it would be facile to compare O'Gallagher with say, Ornette Coleman, but a nearer comparator might actually be Albert Ayler or at a pinch, and at his most garrulous, Charlie Parker. The wailing solo intro to "Credulous" and its main lengthy track into which it segues, weighing in at over ten minutes, both display O'Gallagher's sheer fluency on his instrument without compromising delicate sensitivity.

The trio evince their own characteristic sound, but at times it's reminiscent of another virtuosic triumvirate, John Surman's The Trio, which featured Barre Phillips and the late Stu Martin, albeit without quite the same riffy impact. Weidenmueller's richly resonant bass and Ferber's insistent, precise drumming unceasingly propel O'Gallagher's alto along. These three musicians have produced an album of predominantly spontaneous exploration and improvisation and it's a wholly satisfying affair.

Track Listing

Prime; Extralogical Railman; Credulous Intro; Credulous; Blood Ties; Nothing To It; The Honeycomb.


John O'Gallagher: alto Saxophone; Johannes Weidenmueller: bass; Mark Ferber: drums.

Album information

Title: Live In Brooklyn | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: Whirlwind Recordings Ltd

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