How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
Multicultural. Oasis is a jazz voyage through Traditional Western, Eastern, Middle Eastern, and African motifs and rhythms played by Australians, Chileans, Europeans. The leader, Australian-born Chris Cody, has assembled eight original originals and a single standard (a boozy Monk's Mood) for his first outing on Naxos Jazz. It is ultimately an interesting and entertaining recording.
The Middle East. "El Bahdja", "Oasis", and "After the Storm" all contain hypnotic Middle Eastern figures over which Cody and his merry band paint their unique portrait of these influences strained through the filter of jazz. Outstanding are Jon Pease's guitar solo on "El Bahdja" and James Greening's trombone on the title cut. But is not a complete foreign exercise. "Flooze Blooze" is a great straight-ahead jazz piece with fine performances by all and the disc's standard is a weaving "Monk's Mood", directed again by Greening's trombone.
"Green's Piece" is a Cody composition inspired by a classical musician friend that presents Cody with the best vehicle displaying is well-informed and tasteful playing. The disc closes with another Jon Pease ride over an African melody that is quite pleasant and cheerful. The band's percussionist, Fabian Hevia, is also well represented here. The rhythm section of Swanton and Bartram is well grounded and precise while at the same time performing with a controlled abandon.
Pigeon Hole. This music moves well beyond the bounds of traditional (bop-oriented) jazz and effectively explores influences not typically thought of when considering jazz as a musical category. It is this spirit that has always guided Naxos, Jazz or Classical. There are always surprises to be expected and this disc is a very welcome one.
Track Listing: El Bahdja, Oasis, After the Storm, Flooze Blooze, Monk's Mood, Green's Peace, Gare De L'Est, Shadows Across the Land, African Dance.
Personnel: Chris Cody: Piano; James greening: Trombone, Pocket Trumpet, Jon Pease: Guitar; Lloyd Swanton: Bass; John Bartram: Drums; Fabian Hevia: Percussion.