Jazz fans searching for a quintessential forward-thinking artist should look no further than the musical musings of Mr. Greg Osby. He’s an artist who will not be satisfied with the status quo. Distinguished as an alto saxophone stylist, his voice is unique and easily recognizable among the masses. His recordings of the past few years have all been modern exercises in jazz music that are entertaining, cerebral, and illuminating. As any successful visionary, he has surrounded himself with like-minded individuals who continue to push the envelope of jazz; such as piano extraordinaire Jason Moran and vibraphonist Stefon Harris. His previous recording Symbols of Light (A Solution),
which implemented a string quartet into his eclectic mix, was one of 2001's top jazz picks.
Inner Circle continues on the same high level that Osby has been operating at throughout his career. His music is progressively expanding into new boundaries on the ubiquitous jazz theme. It swings, grooves and moves with a distinctive style. The recording features Osby originals with covers by Euro-Pop sensation Bjork and famous bassist Charles Mingus. The title Inner Circle could easily refer to one of the tightest set of young musicians paving the jazz path today. The musicians have been featured on recordings by Jason Moran and Stefon Harris. Bassist Taurus Mateen and drummer Eric Harland comprise one of the most dynamic and talented rhythm sections on the scene today. Osby and Moran have formed a unique and wonderful symbiosis over the past few years that allows for freedom and expression with wide possibilities. Stefon Harris’ vibe work just keeps getting better. All the compositons are creative with odd patterns and complex arrangements that never leave the listener too far, and will also encourage a deeper appreciation for the art form. The many highlights include the circuitous and hypnotic “Fragment Decoding” and the brilliant “Inner Circle Principle” with its memorable solos expressed by each musician. With Osby at the helm, one can only anticipate the next move in his forward progression. Another top pick for 2002.
For artist and label information check out the following web sites: gregosby.com | Blue Note Records
Personnel: Greg Osby: Alto Saxophone; Jason Moran: Piano
Stefon Harris: Vibraphone; Tarus Mateen: Bass;
Eric Harland: Drums