A distinctive and fresh voice on the modern jazz scene, saxophonist/composer/arranger John O'Gallagher brings a strong composer's sensibility to bear on Line of Sight, his second recording with his Axiom quartet featuring tenor saxophonist Tony Malaby, bassist John Herbert and drummer Jeff Williams. Melding a kind of classical aesthetic with a daring, wide-open free jazz approach on original pieces such as "Cubist," "Unmode," "Revolving Doors," and "Effluence," O' Gallagher achieves an organic balance between intricate interplay and free improvisation on this ambitious offering. Line of Sight opens with "Cubist," a composition based on intervallic symmetry. Its harmony is derived from the interrelationship between the intervals of the pitches in counterpoint. The saxophonists converse in their top-to-bottom command of saxophonics and later in tandem harmonize their improvised language. The composer takes it a step further on "Unmode" where he incorporates rhythmic aspects with the harmonic aspects to bring off a three-part feeling of up-tempo, slow and soft, and finally kicking into high gear. The record closes with the appropriately titled "Rare Views," a melodic song with a postmodern tango feeling that uses space and timing to its creative advantage. Overall John O'Gallagher assures the listener that while listening back to the songs that comprise this CD, he definitely had great music in his line of sight. Highly recommended for fans of the classical/free jazz aesthetic.
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AllMusic Review by Paula Edelstein