|photo by Nada Zgank|
The program closes with a raucous reading of Lou Reed's "All Tomorrow's Parties", a nod to the halcyon days of the late 1960s and a city that does not exist anymore. Taborn pounds the keys of the acoustic piano, the saxophones play the plaintive melody, the bass throbs next to the pounding of the drums. The music fades on the insistent piano chords, jangling like the composer's guitar often sounded but nodding to the trance-like figures of the early music of Terry Riley.
The music on "Epicenter" is built on the strength of the elemental drum patterns (which open up and settle down so organically), the strong melodic bass lines, the incredible motion of the keyboards and the praying, braying and soothsaying nature of the 2 tenor saxophones. Chris Lightcap's Bigmouth opens wide, pulling at the listener to pay attention and enjoy how his songs describe his adopted home. For more information, go to chrislightcap.com.
Here's the title track:
There's nary a ballad to be found in the 60-minute run. In fact, the music goes from swinging to burning and beyond. Tunes such as "Avalon", "Giant Steps" and the title track hit the ground running and never let up. There's also a heady dollop of blues on tracks such as Randy Aldcroft's "Your Place or Mine" and Lou Donaldson's "Alligator Boogaloo." Try to sit still listening to Lanny Morgan's "Pail Blues" or Weiskopf's "Three's a Crowd" - impossible! Webb makes sure everybody gets heard therefore the solos are often short. Yet, the results are not inconsequential. Sure, this is a "blowing session" yet there is great respect for the music, for the tradition and for keeping the listener satisfied. To find out more about the saxophonist, go to www.dougwebb.us.
Here's the opening track:
"Go Where You Are Watching" is a quiet piece, with fine brush work throughout, plus a saxophone solo section where Weidenmuller not only sets the pace but also plays counterpoint. O'Gallagher's lines are longer here, tones are sustained and there are delightful moments (just a few) when the sax and bass play the same notes. The title track has a slippery rhythm, starts slowly and then takes off like a race car, the saxophone solo a blizzard of rapid-fire lines that fly over the propulsive rhythm section (Ferber matches the leader's energy!)
By the time one reaches the final track, the powerful "Turducken", the seduction is complete. Those people who love creative music, enjoy how musicians create a group sound while maintaining their own "voice", how pieces can have structure and "freedom" built into its performance, should really enjoy "The Honeycomb." The music created by the John O'Gallagher Trio absolutely shines and is a powerful reminder that the best recordings are the ones where you hear the musicians "play" and not work. To find out more, go to www.johnogallagher.com.