Described by one critic as “an artist unafraid and bending the tradition,” keyboardist/composer Michael Gallant has never been one to play as written —and with his new augmented trio release Live Plus One, Gallant reintroduces his disruptive musical tendencies within the context of a lush and powerful live album.
Live Plus One is the Michael Gallant Trio’s follow-up to the widely acclaimed 2013 debut Completely (Gallant Music). Combining a rich orchestral sensibility with assertive grooves, flowing energy with studio-quality performances and production, Live Plus One centers around Gallant’s stylistically omnivorous, post-fusion, and often simultaneous improvisations on both acoustic piano and overdriven electric keyboard. The CD also showcases his chops as a composer, arranger, and producer of uncharacteristic breadth and guts.
Recorded live and almost exclusively at Levine Music in Washington, DC, where Gallant studied piano as a teenager, Live Plus One first came together when the school invited him to perform as part of an alumni concert series in 2014. With his trusty Nord Electro 3HP keyboard tucked underneath the keybed of a Steinway Model D, Gallant delivered a sumptuously inventive set with his working trio: electric bassist Dmitry Ishenko and drummer Rob Mitzner, a longtime friend and once-again bandmate from Gallant’s days growing up in the DC area. The ensemble performed a kinetic program of Gallant originals, joined on five tracks by veteran DC acoustic bassist Pepe Gonzalez (the “plus one”), whom Gallant has considered a mentor since his teenage years.