Tiny Reviews: John O’Gallagher, Matteo Marongiu, & PJ Rasmussen

Tiny Reviews edition!

Featuring:  John O’Gallagher The Anton Webern Project, Matteo Marongiu Open Letter to Mingus, and PJ Rasmussen Adventures In Flight.



John O’Gallagher – The Anton Webern Project

John O'Gallagher - "Anton Webern Project"NYC saxophonist John O’Gallagher, who has long been fascinated with and studied, the 12-tone music theory and that of Serialism, takes it one step further by creating a concept album based around what the music of classical composer Anton Webern (an innovator in 12-tone) might have sounded like were he a jazz musician in modern day New York City.

There’s plenty to appreciate in the concept, but entirely unnecessary to enjoying this oddball mix of classical, jazz, and fusion.  Music with a loping cadence that slides into unconventional grooves, sharp guitar notes that dart through a shimmering organ haze, quavering harmonies shattered by saxophone wails, bright notes of vibes skipping multiple ropes with skittering drums, and the occasional bursts of strangely melodic vocals.

Your album personnel:  John O’Gallagher (alto sax), Ross Lossing (Hammond organ, Rhodes, piano), Pete McCann (guitar), Matt Moran (vibes), Johannes Weidenmueller (bass), Tyshawn Sorey (drums), and Margret Grebowicz (voice).

Released on the Whirlwind Recordings label.

Available at eMusic.  Available at Amazon: CD


Matteo Marongiu – Open Letter to Mingus

Matteo Marongiu - "Open Letter to Mingus"A collegiate project aimed at studying the technique of orchestration in jazz via the compositions of Charles Mingus, this large ensemble, led by fellow bassist Matteo Marongiu, captures the strange beauty of the subject’s music, while simultaneously expressing their own creative voice with a touch that is breezy and light as a Sunday afternoon stroll in the park.  Tracks like album-opener “Dear Angel” possess some frenetic shadowplay with tempo, whereas other tracks like “Scarlett” are a constant wave of sunshine warmth.

Your album personnel:  Matteo Marongiu (bass), Stefano D’Anna (tenor & soprano sax), Alessandro Di Liberto (piano), Daniele Pasini (flute), Roberto Migoni (drums), Simone Floris (clarinet, bass clarinet), Mauro Piras (trombone), Elsa Paglietti (violin), Simone Soro (violin), Angela Zienko (viola), and Gianluca Pischedda (cello).

Released on the Improvvisatore Involontario label.

Available at eMusic.  Available at Amazon: MP3


PJ Rasmussen – Adventures In Flight

PJ Rasmussen - "Adventures In Flight"Nice straight-ahead session by guitarist PJ Rasmussen, who toes a blues path by way of navigating a nice middle ground between a classic bop sound and one that’s a bit more mainstream.  Aside from resulting in a series of enjoyable tunes, this results in some satisfying album cohesion.  By touching on some form of blues voicing, the album focus doesn’t ever seem to waver, even if its expression of that focus does shift under the listeners feet from tune to tune.  Nothing groundbreaking, but I found the album sufficiently likable to give it a quick mention.

Your album personnel:  PJ Rasmussen (guitar), Steve Johns (drums), Adrian Moring (bass), Chris Pattishall (piano), Nate Giroux (tenor sax), Danny Reyes (trumpet & flugelhorn), and guest Kelly Green (vocals).

Released on the Third Freedom Music label.

Available at Amazon: CD | MP3