The Anton Webern Project

John O'Gallagher

of discs
Stock Status (?)
In Stock
Delivery Estimate
2-5 days
Jazz, Contemporary
Whirlwind Recordings
June 17, 2013

Format: Compact Disc



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John O'Gallagher is a Grammy award-winning alto saxophonist who is known as one of the most compelling improvisers, composers and music conceptualists at work today on the avant-jazz scene. This ambitious project features his seven-piece contemporary jazz ensemble, showcasing many of the most respected creative jazz musicians on the global music scene.

The California native has released many critically acclaimed albums to date but it's this ambitious project which shows his diverse talents pushed to new and exciting limits. This recording features groundbreaking reworks and adaptations of the music of Anton Webern, the Austrian composer known for his innovations in twelve-tone technique and the musical movement known as 'Serialism'.

With just one hearing of the album the listener is transported into a sound-world unlike anything they've heard before as a result of O'Gallagher's masterfully conceived vision which morphs the improvising jazz musician with the music pioneered by the Second Viennese School. The Anton Webern Project is a true testament to the seemingly limitless spirit of the ever-searching and evolving improvising musician, and will surely be regarded as a vital addition to the advancement and appreciation of Webern and twelve-tone music.

Personnel: John O'Gallagher (alto saxophone), Matt Moran (vibraphone), Pete McCann (guitar), Russ Lossing (Hammond organ, Rhodes, piano), Johannes Weidenmuller (double bass), Tyshawn Sorey (drums), Margret Grebowicz (voice)

Press Quotes

(4 stars) It's not an opportunistic cross-genre grab, but an expert jazz adventure conducted with uninhibited respect.

The Guardian, (John Fordham), September 27, 2013

(4 stars) The alto saxophonist shares the serialist composer's penchant for wide-intervalled lines leaping over dense harmonies. Avdowntown sextet adapts Webern's thematic material into angular, rhythmically astute and multi-textured jazz fusion.

Financial Times

(4 stars) O'Gallagher has realized his mission statement in brilliant fashion.

The Jazz Mann

(4 stars) It's a thrilling ride...the chattering, very involving O' Gallagher lead makes the music sufficiently distinctive, and on 'The Secret Code' he improvises superbly in one of his best solos of a fascinating and involving album.


Courageous stuff and easily the most innovative album of the year.


O'Gallagher has long been associated with 12-tone music and takes the bull by the horns by adapting eight Webern pieces for his sextet plus voice. O'Gallagher is both mathematical and creative with his approach, staying close to Webern's melodic intention while trying to pull out the music's internal essence...The Anton Webern Project contains a wealth of riches that pays off with multiple listens.

All About Jazz

This music is addictive and beautiful, played with dedication and passion: challenging and intriguing.

London Jazz News

An absorbing listen, O'Gallagher says he has looked for the melody and beauty in Webern's compositions, and certainly presenting it in a jazz context and with these musicians, the emotional side of the music is brought out.

The Jazz Breakfast

The Anton Webern Project will appeal to fans of the Claudia Quintet (yes, Matt Moran is in that group as well) but also to listeners who enjoy creative challenges, music that hits hard with excellent arrangements and feisty musicianship.

Step Tempest

I can personally testify that you don't need an intimate familiarity with the Webern compositions on which these eight pieces are based, or even with dodecaphony in general, in order to enjoy a very stimulating experience. The music is intense and highly detailed, but it never sounds overwritten or corseted. The essential spontaneity of jazz pervades this music - which, given the degree of preparation involved, is quite an achievement.

The Blue Moment


More Info

Key Value
Catalogue number WR4635
Barcode 0884501886239
Number of items 1
Packaging type Digipak
Imported No
Weight 44g
Dimensions (LxWxH) 140mm x 5mm x 125mm

Disc 1

Track Listing — Disc 1

Song Title Time
1. Schnell (After Op. 27) -
2. Three Songs (After Op.25) -
3. Five Pieces (After Op. 10) -
4. Quartet (After Op. 22) -
5. Seventh Ring (After Op. 3) -
6. The Secret Code (After Op. 28) -
7. Ways Going Over (After Op. 15) -
8. All This World (After Op. 31) -