John O'Gallagher

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Abacus Review

by Scott Yanow

The dry-toned altoist John O'Gallagher explores seven of his abstract originals, Lee Konitz's "Hi Beck," and a piece by Arnold Schoenberg on this continually interesting CD. The music that O'Gallagher creates with his quintet is very advanced if not completely free form. It is intellectual and intuitive, yet often sounds well-planned and swings in its own fashion. Eric Dolphy is an influence on the altoist's sound (particularly on "String Theory"), but O'Gallagher has his own improvising conception. The rhythm section is closely attuned to the music (bassist Johannes Weidenm├╝eller is an exciting new find), and the group is both tight and open to spontaneous change. Recommended.

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